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Moves to prevent voting fraud as Tower Hamlets gears up for December 12 general election

PUBLISHED: 15:03 11 November 2019 | UPDATED: 08:14 12 November 2019

Deadline for voters to register for December's General Election is November 26. Picture: LBTH

Deadline for voters to register for December's General Election is November 26. Picture: LBTH

LBTH

Preparations are under way by Tower Hamlets Council to make sure there's no voting fraud in next month's General Election or repeated intimidation like previous local elections.

Security at polling stations after incidents in previous Tower Hamlets council elections. Picture: James PerrinSecurity at polling stations after incidents in previous Tower Hamlets council elections. Picture: James Perrin

Police are keeping watch at polling stations in the Poplar and Limehouse constituency on December 12 and at neighbouring Bethnal Green and Bow constituency.

Town hall officials are also going through applications to go on the voters register to root out attempts to rig the polls, following council elections in 2010 and 2014 which were tainted by false registrations and even forgeries on postal ballot papers. This led to the 2014 election for mayor being overturned in the High Court.

Tower Hamlets' returning officer Will Tuckley is overseeing security in both constituencies.

"We are making sure everyone entitled has the chance to make their vote count," he said. "We urge those eligible to make sure they are registered before the deadline."

Election returning officer Will Tuckley... making sure Election returning officer Will Tuckley... making sure "everyone entitled has the chance to make their vote count". Picture: Kois Miah

The authority is appealing to make sure voters are registered by the November 26 deadline to be able to take part in the General Election on December 12, in what is Britain's most crucial poll in a generation with Brexit in the balance.

The election follows last week's dissolution of Parliament and the delivery of the Election Writ to the town hall received by chief executive Mr Tuckley who is also acting returning officer.

The official Notice of Election was posted on Friday which sets the timetable for deadlines to register for voters, for parliamentary candidates separately and to apply for postal ballots.

Counting the votes and declaring winning candidates for both constituencies is being held at Custom House outside the borough, at the ExCel centre in the Royal Docks, for security.

Keeping polling stations secure is a Met Police priority for the December 12 General Election. Picture: Kois MiahKeeping polling stations secure is a Met Police priority for the December 12 General Election. Picture: Kois Miah

The count for the 2014 election for mayor and part of the borough elections that year held at the Troxy venue was marred by surging crowds swarming in. The venue isn't being be used again following objections from the Met Police and Electoral Commission as well as several candidates and party agents over security issues.

The council has posted its household enquiry forms to every property in the East End with a legal requirement to respond to make sure each person eligible to vote is on the updated register being published on December 1, just 11 days before the polls.

Voters needing extra help can contact the their electoral services team on 020 7364 0872 or email vote@towerhamlets.gov.uk

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