Stolen votes, false impersonation at polling stations, and people voting twice – these are just some of the many incidents of electoral fraud reported in Scotland during and after the General Election; with police currently looking into various complaints across the nation.
In one of the incidents to have taken place across several Scottish constituencies, Police are now continuing their enquiries into a suspected case of electoral fraud involving a ballot box used by voters in Stirling during last week’s General Election.
Officers are probing the case of alleged electoral fraud after a person attended one of the constituency’s 84 polling stations only to be told someone using the name they gave had already cast their vote.
So far neither Police Scotland nor Stirling Council would confirm which of the 84 polling stations the incident occurred at.
Police were present at the count in the Albert Halls, Stirling, when the ballot box containing the suspicious voting paper was opened.
The ballot paper was removed for further examination. It is currently thought that the voting slip may have been issued to someone claiming a false identity, but other reports of similar incidents have so-far understood to have gone unchecked.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Police in Stirling received a report of a potential personation during the voting process for the General Election on Thursday, December 12.
“Enquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances of what happened.”
An insider at the election count said: “Someone went into one of the polling stations and gave a name. The name was scored off the list of voters and the person was given a voting slip and proceeded to vote. “
A second person later arrived at the polling station and gave the same name. Polling station staff flagged the irregularity up to depute returning officer for the Stirling Constituency Jim Boyle.
The second person was allowed to vote, using a pink slip, and during the count both it and the ballot paper cast by the first person were retrieved.
The paper cast by the first person was taken away in a plastic bag and the second person’s vote was set aside but did not count towards the final votes tally.
Allegations of voting fraud were being investigated at a number of locations in Scotland as counting began in the December general election.
At the Glasgow count, three cases were also being investigated.
Renfrewshire Council said a possible case of personation had been reported to police in the Paisley and Renfrewshire North constituency.
A Renfrewshire Council spokesperson said: “We have been made aware of an incident earlier today in the Paisley and Renfrewshire North constituency where a member of the public arrived at a polling station to place a vote to find that it had already been cast by another member of the public.
“The matter was reported to Police Scotland and as such is now subject to a police investigation.”
At the count in Stirling the BBC’s Kenneth Macdonald said a ballot paper had been taken away for forensic examination after a voter arrived at a polling station to find someone had already voted in their name.
But the cases being investigated by the police aren’t the only incidents of serious alleged vote fraud.
Speaking to VoteWatch, a throng of angry and concerned voters reported having arrived at their local postal station to vote only to be told that their vote had already been used.
One of the victims, James from Bonnyrigg, Midlothian, said: “It’s unbelievable.. my name was marked off as already voting! They are adamant it’s not their mistake so someone has voted as me. I had to vote on a special paper that may or may not be counted!”
VoteWatch has put forward James’ and others concerns to the relevant councils and to the electoral commission. We will continue to dig deeper.