March 4

Easy voting is fraudulent voting

Easy voting is fraudulent voting, warned Mr Richard Mawrey QC at a seminar  held at Parliament House Sydney on Thursday 25 February organised by the H S Chapman Society and co-hosted by ACM.

In what he said  would disgrace a banana republic, Richard Mawrey QC, sitting as a High Court judge, found six Labour councillors guilty of electoral fraud in the 2004 Birmingham Council election. This made news not only in the UK, but around the world.

In a splendidly bipartisan approach, he subsequently found that Conservative councillors had engaged in fraud in the Slough Council election. 

He discusses these findings in the following interview, “Electoral fraud which would disgrace a banana republic.” 


In the second interview,” Easy voting is fraudulent voting,” Mr Mawrey QC warns that the longer the period between the calling of an election and the closing of the  rolls the greater the likelihood of  undetectable fraudulent registrations.


A book was published on the Birmingham Council case in 2005, Fraud At The Elections. This  contains "The Full Final and Definitive Judgment of Election Commissioner Richard Mawrey QC Handed Down on Monday 4th April 2005 in the Matters of Local Government Elections."

It is easy to read, and a splendid case study of the way in which some politicians can undermine our democracy if they are given the opportunity to do so. Why then do some politicans insist on making voting easier, and argue that we must allow registrations almost up to the election?

The book is unfortunately  out of stock, but once it is available we will let you know.

Mr. Mawrey was interviewed by the leading broadcaster Alan Jones on the nation's highest rating breakfast radio programme on 5 February, 2010. This may be heard at 

His address at Parliament House may be heard at

…why we must be concerned…


Electoral fraud has been  a particular concern for ACM , both in the election for the 1998 Constitutional Convention and the 1999 referendum. Unusually for Australia, the 1998 election was voluntary and not just postal on demand, which   Richard Mawrey QC warns cannot be protected against serious fraud.  The Convention election was  wholly postal.  

 The conclusion from Mr. Mawrey’s advice is that any future plebiscite and referendum held under the present system will involve a degree of electoral fraud. How much we do not know.

And of course, this potential for electoral fraud challenges the legitimacy of all our political institutions. This is because such a potential acts as an incentive for fraud. Were we to allow such a potential for fraud with credit cards, does anyone seriously suggest that this would not attract fraudsters?  The same is of course true of elections.

We must be vigilant whenever proposals are made to make voting easier.  We must also demand that the exisitng obvious incentives for fraud be removed or countered.




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