IN an attempt to stamp out voting fraud, the government is trialling different schemes.

One is taking place in Pendle in the forthcoming May election where voters will have to show photo identities.

During the 1860s (Chartists) and the early 1900s (Suffragettes) risked their liberty, health and lives in their campaigns to get us the right to vote.

Today they would be horrified to see how their hard won victories have been abused.

In the years which followed being granted the franchise there was never any problem.

Voters either went to to the polling station, or, if they were genuinely (note the word genuinely) unable to attend, voted by proxy or post.

The first signs of abuse was a couple of decades ago when a sharp eyed clerk at a polling station noticed someone trying to vote twice.

But the real opportunity for abuse of the one person one vote system came in 2001 when Labour allowed absent (postal) voting on demand.

Since then there have been several examples of voting abuse in the UK, some of which completely changed the political demographic.

Despite Pendle council’s excellent campaign advising us of the need to have a photo identity, I am in no doubt that on May 2nd many will be turned away at the polling station and votes will be lost.

However, this will only be in the short term and will be a small price to pay if it stops voting fraud in the future.

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