Rather than having individual registration like New Zealand does, the UK handles electoral enrolment on a household level. Apparently, once a year they send someone round, and the “head of household” (itself a fairly archaic concept) tells them who lives there. The potential for the creation of bogus enrolments is obvious, and compounded by the limited ability of electoral officials to conduct checks. Throw in a recent move to push postal and proxy voting to boost enrolments, and the entire system is looking highly vulnerable. It needs to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st (or even 20th) century, before these flaws are exploited.
No Right Turn should be more worried about the massive vulnerability to fraud that the NZ electoral system has. As least the UK one has face to face contact- we are far worse than that.
- There is absolutely no check done of enrolments in NZ vs eligibility to enrol.
- People aged under 18 could enrol, visitors can enrol, illegal immigrants can enrol, people on work visas can enrol. Sure it is illegal to do so, but shouldn’t there be something as basic as a register of citizens and permanent residents that enrolment details can be checked against.
- One could invent half a dozen fictitious people at your household and enrol them just by filling in and signing a form for each – no one will check signatures unless you are so stupid you send them all in together.
- No proof of ID is required when enrolling
- Even worse, no proof of ID is required when voting – anyone can turn up and vote claiming to be someone else.
- If you cast votes on behalf of someone who didn’t themselves vote, you will probably never get caught.
- If you know how someone is likely to vote and want to get it disqualified, then you could also cast a vote under their name at another polling booth, and both votes would be disqualified unless they do a full investigation.
- You can enrol up until the day before the election, and then special vote the next day, giving parties and candidates no time to scrutinise if the enrolment is suspicious.
I can’t think of a system more open to abuse than one with no eligibility check for enrolment, no proof of ID for enrolment and no proof of ID for voting.
These will all be issues I hope can be covered off by a full review of the Electoral Act.