The very first election I was involved in was in 1997 when I stood as the Referendum Party candidate in Walsall North. On the night of the count in Walsall town hall I was mightily impressed not only by the efficiency of the way the count was conducted, but also by the thoroughness and checking procedure too.
Of course that was the election which gave a landslide victory to New Labour and the appalling Blair regime and the start of the great undermining of our Parliament, democracy and electoral systems.
In those days it was simpler for a candidate to complete his/her election and expenses forms, but very difficult for the fraudster to rig the vote. Sadly, candidates are now bogged down in tiresome paperwork while the criminally minded find it a doddle to do a bit of vote rigging, thanks of course to the lax postal vote system introduced by the now gone Labour Government.
In the first elections after the postal voting was made widely available there was a major scandal with Labour Party activists in Birmingham being caught with sacks of postal votes - other incidents have happened since. Recently the excellent Yam Yam, a Walsall based news web-site, reported another case of alleged vote rigging in Walsall during the recent elections.
Postal voting is open to fraud and is an experiment that has created more problems that it was meant to solve, because of it we have reached the sad state in this country when our election results cannot be completely trusted - postal voting has got to go apart from being made available for those whose disabilities mean it is difficult for them to get to their local polling station. We need to return to how things used to be done with all the checks and balances restored to stop the fiddlers on the postal votes.