Postal voting is open to widespread misuse and even corruption and is in urgent need of reform, says UKIP Deputy Leader Paul Nuttall.
The MEP has today published a paper highlighting numerous examples of where postal voting has been used illicitly, which can be read here.
Mr Nuttall, who represents the North West of England, wants to amend the Representation of the People Act 2000 by scrapping the inclusion of postal voting “on demand”.
His call comes as people choosing to vote via post rather than polling station have started to receive their postal voting ballots for next month’s plethora of elections.
In his paper, that will be published by the UKIP Parliamentary Resource Unit, Mr Nuttall points to recent postal voting anomalies in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, Wythenshawe and Sale East, Peterborough, Burnley, Blackburn and Birmingham, as examples of how postal voting on demand has perverted the democratic process.
They, he says, are “just the tip of the iceberg”.
Mr Nuttall said: “I felt I had to write this paper following what I witnessed at the Oldham West and Royton by election where boxes containing postal votes were almost unanimously in support of one particular party. I knew then that something was rotten in our system.
“I believe postal voting needs to return to its origins – allowing those who are genuinely infirm and housebound, or perhaps abroad serving in the armed forces, to have their say at the ballot box.
“What we have the moment, thanks to the Labour party for whom it serves best, is a system where anyone can demand to be allowed a postal vote rather than visit a polling station.
“This means that some households can have all their votes decided by one person, regardless of an individual’s own personal political persuasions.
“In my paper I’ve highlighted recorded incidents of postal voting abuse in a diverse number of places which I believe are just the tip of the iceberg.”
In his paper, Mr Nuttall concludes: “UKIP would amend the Representation of the People Act 2000 and do away with the ludicrous system that allows postal voting ‘on demand’.
“This would go a long way in restoring our electoral legitimacy and reinforce the belief that UK elections are being held in a fair and proper manner.
“The legacy of postal voting will have had a profound effect on UK electoral registers. It is therefore necessary to fully audit the electoral register to ensure that only those eligible to vote are able to do so.
“UKIP would oppose and object to attempts to introduce any other form of absent voting such as by online or by text, as the legitimacy of such votes can be compromised.
“UKIP would ensure that unless there is a genuine need for a postal ballot, voters will only be able to cast their vote in polling stations.”