SUNDERLAND elections could be more susceptible to fraud with more than half choosing to vote by post, an expert has said.
Figures released by parliament reveal Houghton and Sunderland South, Washington and Sunderland West and Sunderland Central have more than half of voters taking part by post, putting them in the top four in the UK.
Another five North-East constituencies also fall in the top eight, which is a concern to lawyer Richard Mawrey QC, who tries cases of electoral fraud.
Mr Mawrey is against the system of on-demand postal voting, saying: “It’s open to fraud on a scale that will make election rigging a possibility and, indeed in some areas, a probability.”
Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West, where 50.8 per cent of votes are postal, compared to the national average of 18.8 per cent, is in favour of postal votes. She commented: “While we should always look at how we can increase security, the experience in Sunderland and across the country is that postal voting allows and encourages more people to use their vote at local and national elections, which is good for democracy.”