As anticipated, last week’s article on the supposed ‘survey’ that appears to be a device to obtain voters’ data and persuade them to apply for a postal vote via the Tory party has flushed out another example. This one is being used at the other end of the country from the first, in Cornwall, but with striking similarities that suggest that we may be seeing the ‘tip of the iceberg’ of a widespread new Tory tactic as a variation on the already widely-used theme that aims to control the postal vote application process.
Voters in Truro Tregolls are receiving a ‘survey’ leaflet from their local Conservative party:
Again, the leaflet invites respondents to indicate that they want a postal vote – and provide a Freepost address to encourage people to apply via the Tory office rather than direct to the ERO (Electoral Registration Officer) as electoral rules require:
And again, the small print states that by responding, you are giving absolute control over your data to the Tory party for an incredibly broad purpose – ‘to facilitate our operation as a political party’:
But that’s not all the document reveals. On page one, an option is given to complete the survey online:
There is no ‘Tregolls’ option but there is a Truro option, so it looks like a composition error in the leaflet. But if you go to the ‘surveys’ site, this is what you will find:
Eighteen surveys across the whole county – and if there are online surveys, there are printed, posted surveys in those areas as well, pointing to the online survey.
The whole of Cornwall and a similar pseudo-survey in Wales, uncovered in just a couple of days. It would be amazing if these are the only areas in which this tactic is being used.
It’s fast becoming clear that the Tories really want to control voters’ postal-vote applications, as well as amass their data for essentially uncontrolled use by the party and its agents.
Why? The Electoral Commission’s rules about the handling of postal vote applications make clear that they exist to prevent the possible perception of vote fraud – are the Tories using these documents and the handling of postal vote applications to facilitate some method of electoral fraud?
The SKWAWKBOX needs your help to find out. We already have Cornwall and Llangollen on our map of pseudo-surveys. Here’s how you can help:
- If you have received something similar where you live, put a note in the comments of this blog and we’ll contact you.
- If you have received a survey and returned it with a request for a postal vote application, let the SKWAWKBOX know what was sent back to you in response – again, put a note in the comments and we’ll contact you for details.
- If you have knowledge about the purpose of this whole ruse, you can contact this blog in absolute confidence.
Thanks for your help.
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