The original report is here.
Of the worst abuses is the systematic misuse of postal voting:
“70. Postal voting on demand attracted the greatest degree of comment from respondents. It was considered by some to be the UK’s main electoral vulnerability and to provide the ‘best’ opportunity for electoral fraud.The situation is so severe that the very “integrity”of voting and democracy itself in Britain is being put into question.
71. Abuses of postal voting on demand were noted too often be carried out in communities where an individual’s right to vote in secret and exercise free choice may not be fully valued. Evidence was presented of pressure being put on vulnerable members of some ethnic minority communities, particularly women and young people, to vote according to the will of the elders, especially in communities of Pakistani and Bangladeshi background. There were concerns that influence and intimidation within households may not be reported, and that state institutions had turned a blind eye to such behaviour because of ‘politically correct’ over-sensitivities about ethnicity and religion.
72. Richard Mawrey QC noted that postal votes were the most significant problem and that, whilst the introduction of ‘postal vote identifiers’ (signature and date of birth) in 2007 had been a step in the right direction, the possibilities of undue influence, theft of postal votes and tampering with them after completion were all still risks. In summary, he saw the system as effectively just being policed by political parties watching each other with not enough rigour in the systems themselves.”
“Securing the Ballot: Report of Sir Eric Pickles’ Review into Electoral Fraud,” August 2016, p. 22.
From the conclusion:
“My fear now is that such a trust-based system is becoming no longer tenable. To retain the integrity of our democracy, we need to introduce more rigour into the processes we use, to see more clarity and proactivity from institutions such as the police in upholding the system. We need to act now to avoid further major instances of fraud taking place.So we have yet another incredible failure of multiculturalism in Europe.
Further steps are necessary to stamp out electoral corruption – across voter registration fraud and error, postal voting fraud, impersonation, bribery, treating, undue influence and intimidation.
There are sometimes challenging issues over divisive community politics and ethnic-religious polarisation, but this is no excuse for failing to enforce British law and protect the integrity of our democratic process. The law must be applied equally and fairly to everyone. Integration and good community relations are undermined by the failure to uphold the rule of law and ensure fair play.
Our nation has a proud heritage as the ‘mother of Parliaments’, yet the worrying and covert spread of electoral fraud and state of denial by some bodies threatens that good reputation. It is time to take action to take on the electoral crooks and defend Britain’s free and fair elections.”
“Securing the Ballot: Report of Sir Eric Pickles’ Review into Electoral Fraud,” August 2016, p. 55.