I’m writing in support of all three Dewsbury Conservative Candidates and their “Keep It Clean” initiative. For many years at election time, Dewsbury has been blighted with reports of postal vote fraud and voter intimidation, so it is quite right that these issues should be taken seriously in an effort to protect our democracy.
I was troubled, however, by Kirklees Council Chief Executive and the Returning Officer for upcoming elections, Adrian Lythgo’s comments that he had not been presented with any evidence of widespread electoral fraud in his time at the council. I understand that three people were cautioned by police as part of an investigation into electoral fraud in Dewsbury after the 2012 council election and that Kirkless Council is one of only 16 councils being closely monitored nationwide by the Electoral Commission to try ensure elections are free and fair this time around. Is that not evidence enough?
I feel that Mr Lythgo’s response smacks of complacency and I do wonder if he is the right person to be in charge of overseeing elections if he doesn’t seem to think there is a problem. It is therefore down to candidates from all parties to show their support for democracy. I hope that all candidates can put their political differences to one side and sign the pledge drafted up by the Conservatives. That way, it might make these elections the fairest yet and eradicate the need for future scrutiny by the Electoral Commission.