Postal votes used as local election campaign tool

Ballot box
Ballot box

It is a rare day indeed when I get a doorstep visit from a representative of a political party in the run-up to an election.

In fact it is so rare, I tend to enjoy myself when it happens!

There are many factors which make these visits rare.

In my old house, there was little or no point campaigning, especially in local elections, as the ward had returned councillors of the same hue for as long as anyone could remember.

The same, it would have to be said, is largely true at my new address, although the party in question has changed.

Therefore, the run-up to local elections in 2012 and 2013 passed without a single visit from anyone from any of the political parties.

Another of the reasons for the lack of campaigning is you have to pay really close attention to work out which borough I actually live in.

Add to that the fact we are slightly off the beaten track and the prospect of knocking on my door gets even less appealing.

Imagine my surprise, therefore, to find a candidate on my doorstep.

But for the fleeting visit, there was no mention of any of the local issues I am interested in ... loonies treating a nearby road as a race-track, others turning a quiet side street nearby into a latter-day “lovers’ lane” and the general dumping and littering that goes on within a few hundred yards of the afore-mentioned front door.

All I got was a fairly impassioned plea for my vote as the candidate in question claimed 1,200 postal votes had already been cast for another party.

How did the candidate know this?

Are postal votes not secret?

Are they all not under lock and key until the day of the election count?

Like the rest of you, I am growing increasingly tired of the whole postal vote scandal and the ugly light it allows to fall on Pendle and Burnley, both ranked far too highly as places where postal vote corruption can take place.

But is using postal votes against you as a campaigning tool not taking it all too far ... especially when the candidate in question had raised the figure to 1,500 by the time a friend answered his door?