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Vote Rigging Ex-councillor Jailed

Dec 27, 2004
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Hertfordshire England
A former Labour councillor has been jailed for three years and seven months for rigging postal votes during local elections in 2002.
Muhammed Hussain, 61, of Logwood Street, Blackburn, Lancashire, pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the returning officer.

He had a 685 majority in the elections for Bastwell ward on Blackburn Council.

The Tories, who came second, complained that more than 75% of people had applied for postal votes.

'Public scandal'

Hussain arranged for campaigners to go door-to-door asking voters to hand over blank voting papers, telling them: "Don't worry, we'll take care of them."

Judge Peter Openshaw said Hussain was "entirely unfit" for public office but he was not allowed under current law to disqualify him from holding future posts.

He said it was a "public scandal" and told Hussain he was passing a "stiff" sentence to set an example to others.

He said the current postal voting system was "wide open to fraud", adding: "The defendant has literally stolen votes."

Earlier this week, a judge in Birmingham said the UK's postal voting system would "disgrace a banana republic".

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