A letter to the Sheffield Star

Cllr Bernard Little
Bernard Little

“I took a neighbour of mine to her polling station on election day. She was prevented from voting because she couldn’t find her passport. She has no driving licence. Her electronic pass with a photo as a worker in the NHS was deemed not permissible. I was able to vote because I had an older person’s travel pass.

In many places a student at a UK university or college who is eligible to vote, their student ID card despite it having a photo ID is invalid. A young person’s rail card is not acceptable.

The Electoral Commission reports that: “In the past 5 years, there is no evidence of large-scale electoral fraud. Of the 1,462 cases of alleged electoral fraud reported to police between 2019 and 2023, 10 led to convictions and the police issued 4 cautions.”  The Commission estimates that 8 million people are missing from the electoral roll which disproportionally affects private renters, young, Asian and black people. We need UK-wide automatic voter registration and the system we have should be repealed.

There is much bigger electoral fraud happening.

Lack of Proportional Representation is one.

No limit on the amount of money given to the bigger political parties to run their election machines is another.

The fact is our electoral system is unfair, runs in an ad-hoc way and is grossly unfair.

The UK is dangerously close to becoming like the repressive state of Belarus which like the UK uses a ‘First Past The Post’ voting system

We do not live in a democracy and this needs to change with great urgency.

Retired Cllr for Walkley and Upperthorpe.

Bernard Little

Cllrs Douglas Johnson and Alison Teal
Cllrs Douglas Johnson and Alison Teal

Greens called for an end to electoral First Past the Post system in an amendment put to the full council meeting today (28 March, 2018).

Sheffield Labour members have put forward a motion about tackling voter ID fraud. However, Sheffield is not included in the pilot scheme.

Cllr Alison Teal said, “So why are Sheffield Labour introducing a motion that does not presently concern Sheffield, and what does this say about their actions with respect to local democracy? At a time when Labour are under strong national scrutiny for their bullying behaviour and blatant disrespect for the electorate they seek to deflect attention on to the Conservatives.

“The real problem with democracy in this city, and this country, is the first past the post voting system. Neither Labour or the Conservatives will wholly concede this flawed antiquated method of apportioning votes is undemocratic because it maintains their power, and the two party system, which results in profoundly unrepresentative government at local and national level.”

Cllr Douglas Johnson said, “When I saw the headline “Democracy under attack,” I thought it was about the highways contract and handing over power to a private company.”



Amendment to NOM 6:

Proposed by Cllr Douglas Johnson; seconded by Cllr Alison Teal

Delete (n) and replace with

(n) believes, however, that the greatest disenfranchisement is of millions of voters who live in safe seats and therefore calls for an end to the first-past-the-post voting system.