Putting Democracy On Trial

Putting Democracy On Trial

20,000 missing votes! Challenging London Assembly election result in West Central. Can you lend your support? TRIAL: Thursday 8 Dec 2016

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"...To no one will we deny or delay, right or justice."  Magna Carta (1215)

We would all like to think that the UK democratic process is sacrosanct, but after ten years in politics I'm coming to understand that the cards can seriously be stacked against you and not just for the most obvious of reasons. Class, culture and race may periodically play a part, but money, manipulation and the machinations of 'Party' politics can be the biggest obstacles to progress.

I'm a teacher, youth worker and journalist and I stood in this year's  London Assembly Elections for the Labour Party in the West Central constituency. It was a great campaign and for the second time running I massively reduced the Tory vote making an unwinnable seat winnable as I did in Havering & Redbridge in 2012, reducing the Tory majority from 40,000 to just 4,000. You can read more about me here.

With a vote winning track record the stage was set for a potentially huge surge of support in Westminster, Hammersmith, Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea, but ultimately the vote came up 14,000 votes short of the mark that would have won me the seat. What appears to have happened is that there was an 80% shortfall in increased voter turnout in West Central,  reasonable enough when considered in isolation but the London-wide results tell an entirely different story.

In real terms the average rise in turnout across the 14 constituencies in London in 2016 as compared with 2012 amounted to 25,648 votes. In West Central turnout increased by just 3,902 votes. 80% lower. The stats below tell it more starkly:

Table 1: Sample London Assembly turnout figures 2000 - 2016


 Constituency                                  2000                 2004               2008              2012             2016              12/16  Increase

Merton & Wandswoth            114330           120088          167437        153785       187455                      33670
Greenwich  & Lewisham            94697           108771          149238       133659        164897                     31238
North East                                       117586           128665         197893        195321        231531                     36210
Havering & Redbridge             108975            129347         167922        143759       172806                      29047
West Central                                 106600           116101          166379       149419       153321                         3902

So, seemingly somewhere in the polling process over 20,000 votes went missing in West Central! The election was lost by 14,564 votes, the turnout results appear artificially low when compared with results across all the other constituencies in the London Assembly Region.  So I decided to Put Democracy on Trial believing in fact that the system has been cheated!

At the Pre-Trial hearing on July 26 2016 the Court agreed there is a case to answer, and having secured funding for the first stages of the process I'm taking the case forward independently. Clearly the outcome is a matter of public interest, particularly for voters in Kensingtion, Chelsea, Westminster, Hammersmith & Fulham, but there are wider ramifications. If there has been vote tampering or errors in adjudication we need to root it out. Here are examples of just five ways in which the system could have been cheated:

  • Altered Ballot Papers
  • Stolen votes – electors put on Postal Vote list and denied vote at the polling station
  • Registering false voters
  • Malpractice
  • Electronic Vote Count Error

See the following successful cases for further details:  Bordesley Green & Aston wards; Simmons Vs Khan; Maybury and Sheerwater ward

With the trial date set for Thursday 8 December 2016. We're now less than two weeks away! I'm asking for your support with costs. There is no public funding for legal fees in these cases, the financial burden of bringing the case is all on me. Simply securing copies of the marked registers of voters for instance is costing me nearly £1000! 

If like me you too would like to ensure that progressive candidates are getting a real shot at representation in the UK  do please pledge your support. Every donation will help, no matter how small. Anonymous donations welcome too.  Knowing you back the principle of maintaining an open, fair and transparent electoral process in Britain sends a critical message of solidarity to the establishment. Hope to hear from you.

Warmest regards

Mandy

PS: Feel free to contact me via social media or email for more info & updates.

_____________________________________

t: @Mandy4Labour

e: mandymarierichards@gmail.com

f: https://www.facebook.com/mandy.richards.982