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Election 2017: Electoral fraud warning issued ahead of Thursday

PUBLISHED: 17:42 05 June 2017 | UPDATED: 17:44 05 June 2017

PA Wire/PA Images

Voters are being warned to stay vigilant to the threat of electoral fraud ahead of the upcoming general election on Thursday.

Whilst exercising your democratic right, voters should report any suspicious behaviour you see at polling stations.

Crimestoppers have launched a campaign highlighting the tell-tale signs, which includes stealing postal or proxy votes, voting as someone else and asking someone to reveal their marked ballot paper.

In 2016, 260 allegations of electoral fraud were made to the police, resulting in two people being convicted and a further six cautioned.

Mark Halls, CEO of Crimestoppers, said: “Electoral fraud damages the UK’s tradition of free and fair elections, which is respected across the world.

“To ensure the election is conducted to the highest standards, Crimestoppers is working closely with the Electoral Commission and police who take voting offences extremely seriously.

Examples of electoral fraud include impersonating a voter, intimidating or threatening a voter, false application to register to vote and making false statements about candidates.

Crimestoppers joined forces with the Electoral Commission in 2015 in order to raise public awareness and to encourage people to report suspicious behaviour at the General Election.

Tom Hawthorn, of the Electoral Commission, said “It is important that when voters go to the polls on June 8, they are confident the police and prosecuting authorities take allegations of electoral fraud seriously.”

“Voters should be confident that they can report any concerns about electoral fraud.”

Electoral fraud can be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers through the charity’s 0800 555 111 number or online.

Members of the public can also report to their local police by calling 101 or they can speak to their local council’s Returning Officer.

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