London’s liberal muslim Mayor Sadiq Khan has demanded mail-in voting for the upcoming mayoral election, claiming that the “disproportionate” effect of the coronavirus on ethnic minorities will reduce voter turnout.
Mayor Khan has been serving as the unelected Mayor of London for almost one extra year after the normal elections were cancelled last year due to the pandemic.
In a letter to Constitution Minister Chloe Smith, Khan ordered her to use taxpayer money to fund the distribution of postal voting forms to every London household before the May deadline.
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“I am still concerned at the potential for low voter turnout, given the circumstances under which the elections will be held,” Khan wrote.
“We know that the virus disproportionately affects Bame people, as well as older and vulnerable people, and we must ensure that they are similarly not disproportionately affected when it comes to being able to cast their vote,” the Mayor added.
“I welcome the government’s move to make it easier to vote by proxy and the publication of the Election Delivery Plan, but I urge you to go further.”
“I am therefore calling on you to launch a widespread public awareness campaign on postal vote registration [and] make further funding available to local authorities to send postal vote registration forms to every household,” Khan said.
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Breitbart.com reports: Mr Khan claimed that the issue of postal voting is not a “party political issue” but is rather about maximising “participation in our democracy”.
The Conservative government under Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced this month that it would be introducing a voter ID requirement in elections starting from 2023.
The Electoral Integrity Bill will also reportedly introduce measures to prevent abuse of the postal and proxy voting systems. However, the government has yet to explain what rules will be set in place to prevent abuse.
Mail-in voting was introduced in the United Kingdom in 2001 under former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair and has since been dogged by instances of voter fraud.
In 2005, for example, Labour councillors Shafaq Ahmed, Shah Jahan, Ayaz Khan, Mohammed Islam, Muhammed Afzal, and Mohammed Kazi were all found guilty of electoral fraud after it was found that they had set up a “vote-forging factory” in Birmingham, bolstering their election changes with fake postal ballots.
In another notable example, the supporters of Britain’s first directly-elected Muslim mayor, Luftur Rahman, were accused of “buying votes with public money, and committing postal vote fraud on an industrial scale.”
A forensic handwriting expert found that “one quarter” of sampled postal ballots “appeared, in each case, to be written in the same ink”.
Other examples of voter fraud in the postal system have also been recorded in Tower Hamlets and Bradford.
The London Mayor election will be held on May 6th.