A NEW warning has been sounded about the integrity of postal voting by a member of the Labour for Independence (LfI) group.

Andy Anderson, from Saltcoats in North Ayrshire, is a reader of The National and has followed the stories we have told recently, which have raised concerns amongst some people about the absentee voter system.

These have mostly stemmed from queries about why postal vote application forms which were sent out by Tory candidates have either the local party or headquarters address in a more prominent position than that of the Electoral Registration Officer.

However, Anderson’s belief that “postal voting in the UK has been abused time and time again”, results from research he carried out after the 2014 referendum.

He told The National: “I did a study of the Scottish referendum postal vote and I have absolutely no doubt that the postal ballot was interfered with.

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“Astonishingly, this seems not to concern many people. The SNP did not seem to be interested when I drew this to their attention, but I still have the evidence to prove that the officially reported ballot results for the referendum in 2014 cannot be correct.”

His research was carried out for the Democratic Socialist Federation (DSF) Dunoon unit, of which he was education officer, after he and six other LfI members attended the 2014 referendum count in the Argyll and Bute constituency.

All had campaigned for Yes in the indyref and their canvassing returns had given them a good idea of how various areas would vote in the poll itself.

However, the first batch of postal ballot (PB) boxes from the islands gave them the biggest shock when they showed around 70% of No votes.

Their second surprise was when the PB turnout was a “staggering” 96.4% which in turn had pushed the overall turnout to 88.2%.

They then noted that senior political figures had been making predictions before the PBs were open, which were also very high and “remarkably” correct, despite the lack of any exit poll, which would normally be carried out for the BBC.

Their report added: “We think we can show that the official version of events is not only unlikely but is not possible. So we can ‘disprove’ the official version.

“We believe we can answer many questions arising from the ballot, which many people in Scotland still have questions which have never properly been addressed by the authorities ... It might not be comfortable, it might not even be safe for people like us, but it is entirely possible and demands at least investigation.

“Our objective in this report is to demand that these issues around the PB are investigated, or at the very least altered so that the PB can’t be abused in this way again ... We believe that the Scottish Parliament should investigate the extraordinary claim that knowledge of the PB was known by members of the UK establishment before these boxes were opened.

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"This may be a criminal matter subject to police investigation, but more important than that, it is a political matter which deals with the very essence of our political system.”

“It looks like having got away with it before, they are trying it on again. Postal voting should be restricted to those who have a genuine reason for not going to the polling booth and we should insist on an exit ballot after polling, because this does not include postal votes and if we have a measure of that we can compare it with the postal vote and see if there is a significant difference.

"It does seem to me that we are far too relaxed and trusting when it comes to the postal ballot and that is a grave mistake.”