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Your vote is yours alone

Published: Wednesday, 27th April 2022

Your vote is your voice

With this year’s elections fast approaching, Pendle Borough Council has some advice on keeping your vote safe.

Whether you choose to vote at a polling station, by post, or via a proxy, it’s important to remember that your vote is yours alone.

It’s illegal for anyone, including partners, family members or friends, to influence you to vote against your will.

Andrea Mullin, Elections and Registration Manager, said: “The impact of electoral fraud on voters can be significant.

“It can take away your right to vote as you want – whether through undue influence, bribery or by impersonating someone and casting your vote.

“Voting is something that you do yourself in secret and it should not be shared with others, even members of your family.”

If you’re voting by post this year, keep your postal vote safe by following some simple rules.

When you get your postal voting papers, deal with them straight away. Don’t leave them where someone else can find them, and don’t let anyone else handle them.

When you’re ready to vote:

•             complete your ballot paper in secret, on your own

•             don’t let anyone else vote for you or see your vote

•             don’t give your ballot paper to anyone else.

When returning your postal vote, post it yourself if possible. If you need to ask someone to post it for you, make sure you only give it to someone you know and trust.

If you are voting via a proxy, you should also choose someone you trust to vote on your behalf.

Proven cases of electoral fraud are relatively rare, however it remains a serious offence and those who commit it can be sentenced to time in prison.

Andrea added: “Unfortunately, on rare occasions, some people may try to manipulate our electoral system and commit electoral fraud.

“Many may not even be aware that their actions constitute a crime.

“We already have anti-fraud measures in place in Pendle. Candidates and agents from all political parties in Pendle have signed a code agreeing to certain standards of practice around the elections.

“If someone tries to influence or take your vote or the vote of anyone you know, you must tell us by calling (01282) 661662 or report it anonymously to Crimestoppers.”

You can do this by calling 0800 555 111 or completing an online form on their website -