A new campaign to help tackle electoral fraud ahead of May’s local elections has been launched by Derby City Council, in partnership with the Electoral Commission and Crimestoppers, the independent crime reporting charity.

Whether it happens through intimidation, bribery or by someone impersonating someone else – the impact of electoral fraud on voters can be significant and can take away their right to vote as they want.

This new campaign, ‘Your vote is yours alone’, raises awareness of what constitutes unacceptable pressure to influence whether or how someone casts their vote.

Ahead of local elections across the city, Derby City Council will be running a social media campaign to empower electors not to become a victim of electoral fraud.

Christine Durrant, Returning Officer at Derby City Council, said:

Unfortunately, on rare occasions, some people may try to manipulate our electoral system, which amounts to committing electoral fraud. Many people may not be aware that their actions constitute a crime. Your vote is yours alone and we are launching this campaign so that voters know what to do if they suspect they are a victim of electoral fraud.”

Ailsa Irvine, Director of Electoral Administration and Guidance at the Electoral Commission, said:

Whether you are voting in person at a polling station on 3 May or completing your postal vote at home, it’s important that your vote is yours alone. No one should feel pressured to vote a certain way. While proven cases of electoral fraud are rare, it remains a serious crime and those who commit it can be sentenced to time in prison.”

Mark Hallas, Chief Executive of the charity Crimestoppers, said:

Anyone trying to rig the outcome, or unduly or illegally influence a ballot, is undermining the public’s trust in our democracy. The UK’s tradition of free and fair elections deserves protecting.

Should you know of someone breaking electoral law, please speak up and stop electoral fraud. If you feel uncomfortable contacting the police directly, then our charity is here 24/7 to listen and take your information. You will remain 100% anonymous. Always Call 0800 555 111 or use our Anonymous Online Form.”

Anyone who thinks they have witnessed electoral fraud can call the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit visit the Crimestoppers website for more information.

The deadline to register to vote for the May local elections in Derby is Tuesday 17th April.

The quickest and easiest way to register is to go to the GOV website.You will need your national insurance number to hand when registering as there will be an ID check as part of the registration process.

Visit our website for more information on the 2018 local elections.