Postal voting gets more people voting. Police it better, don’t use Fraud as an excuse to stop it.

Original letter to Daily Express (12/5/14)
I’d like to take issue with Leo McKinstry on some of what he says about postal voting.
The issue of fraud is real but most of the rest is just sentimentality.
Before TV any cause for public gatherings was the only real source of public entertainment.
Churches were crowded on Sunday’s, Seaside beaches were a seething mass and the hustings attracted huge crowds, with impassioned debate.
Nowaday’s, one does not have to leave home to engage in communal events.
A serious downside to elections is that if election day is wet and windy, turnout is poor, especially amongst those, who have had a long day at work and a tedious commute on our ever worsening Transport infrastructure.
Leo’s dismay over the votes, such as mine, which have already been cast, is not about a loss of democracy. It’s about the loss of the pointless media frenzy and the all-nighter’s of political pundits discussing the Parliamentary version of The Grand National, with hardly any of the pundits picking the right horse.
Do I really have to listen to the “leader” debates to make up my mind?
Am I, or anyone else, really likely to swing vote because of David Cameron’s last minute allegedly cast iron guarantee?
Most people vote on a single issue, when there is one, because, like Sky TV, all that’s on offer are package deals.
Finally. Yes! There is fraud and it has existed from before Blair’s introduction of postal voting.
In the case of postal voting, it does make it easier fo the fraudster’s to steal the votes of those in care homes, the recently deceased, those who can’t speak the language etc.
However, this is not an argument against postal voting, it is an argument for better policing. If you know how a fraud is being perpetrated, then you can randomly focus on such cases. E.g. check if the voters in a care home were capable of voting.

published version:
 Voting by post has a role but must- be better policed
I’D like to take issue with Leo McKinstry in some of what he says about postal voting.
The issue of fraud is real but most of the rest is I feel is just sentiment.
Before TV, the hustings attracted huge crowds and often featured impassioned debate.
Nowadays one does not have to leave home to engage in communal events.
One downside to elections is the weather. If it is wet and windy on the day.it’s often a poor turnout:
There is fraud and in the case of postal voting, it would appear easier for fraudsters to steal the votes of those in care homes, those recently deceased and those who cannot speak the language.
. But this is not an argument against postal voting, it is an argument for better policing of it.

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