The dirty little secret of a looming postal vote scam is starting to unravel even before the first vote has been officially counted. After MPs' expenses, a massive postal vote rigging scam is the next big scandal waiting to happen.
With the election outcome on an opinion poll knife-edge, voter fraud could determine the final result as evidence mounts of massive postal vote rigging.
7 million people out of 46 million have reportedly registered for postal votes for Thursday's election. Some authorities saw thousands of applications made shortly before the April 20 deadline.
Councils across the country have reported an "unprecedented" surge in the number of people registering to vote reported The Independent.
"From the south coast of England to central Scotland, local authorities are reporting increases of up to 17 percent, with a consistent trend across major cities, suburban constituencies and rural seats. The surge is apparently at its most pronounced in areas with crucial marginal seats."
Hard on the heels of the Guardian, now the Mail is reporting significant instances of postal vote rigging with police launching 50 criminal inquiries nationwide amid widespread cases of electoral rolls being packed with ‘bogus’ voters. Across 12 London boroughs alone, the Mail states that the Metropolitan Police are considering 28 claims of "major abuses".
The Sunday Times revealed how an election law loophole exposes postal votes to the danger of fraud. Election chiefs have called for political parties to be banned from handling postal vote forms as an investigation by The Times exposed major loopholes in guidelines to prevent fraud.
What galls the Orange Party and many many more is that there's nothing new about reports of voter fraud. Postal ballots are available on demand, amid widespread concerns over transparency, fraud and exploitation. The system is wide open to abuse.
There are enough dirty tricks flying around without another vote rigging scandal raising its ugly head. A scandal of a rigged election is a scandal just waiting to happen. But the electoral commission 'watchdog' still reckons everything's hunky-dory.
Back in November the Orange Party revealed how a crafty plan to push postal votes could swing the critical Glasgow NE by-election for New Labour, fuelling fears of a re-run of the alleged sham of a rigged Glenrothes 'victory'.
Glasgow NE saw a shocking number of voters registered to cast their ballot by post, more than double since the last general election.
The crucial Glenrothes by-election result surprised many political pundits who predicted an SNP win, but the Scottish Labour Party held onto the Fife seat by six thousand plus. Like many, the Orange Party smelt a rigged postal vote rat.
The move sparked concern among election watchdogs, echoing warnings of a judge after Birmingham council elections came under scrutiny way back in 2005, that postal votes are "wide open to fraud".
Suspicions over vote-rigging had been raised in the past as New Labour tends to benefit from a surge in postal votes. Now the real scandal could come in marginal seats where the postal votes could make all the difference to the election outcome.
As usual the Daily Mash calls it about right with a headline screaming: LABOUR CALLS FOR TACTICAL VOTE-RIGGING
THE Labour Party has urged its vote riggers in key marginal seats to make it look as if quite a lot of fictional people have voted Liberal Democrat.With polling just two days away, senior Labour figures said the postal votes of people who don't exist should be used to stop the Tories, but not in the sort of really obvious way that even a British policeman would notice.One source said: "As we enter the jiggery-pokery stage, it is vital that fictitious Lib Dem voters use their non-existent heads instead of their imaginary hearts."These voters that we've made up are intelligent, sophisticated and know who would have won in their constituency if we hadn't been up all night inventing names for them."
The solution is simple. Ban postal votes except for rare exceptions. Declare general election day a public holiday. Then no-one has an excuse. As EUReferedum bloggers put it - a fraud a day keeps democracy at bay.