Follow Metropolitan Police

21-year-old man pleads guilty to breaking electoral law by voting twice in General Election

News   •   Dec 18, 2017 13:25 GMT

A 21-year-old man has pleaded guilty to breaking electoral law by voting twice in the same constituency of Chingford and Woodford Green, Waltham Forest during the 2017 United Kingdom Parliamentary General Election.

Mohammad Zain Qureshi, 21 (2.1.1996) of Harold Road, Waltham Forest appeared at Thames Magistrates Court, Bow on Monday, 18 December, where he pleaded guilty to the offence, which is contrary to section 61(2)(a)(i)ofthe Representation of the People Act 1983, an illegal practice under that Act.

Qureshi voted twice in the election after he was registered twice at his home address with a minor variance of his name.

Following the election, an allegation was reported to police in relation to a social media post by an unknown person on Twitter. The Twitter user openly declared on polling day that they had voted twice for the Labour Party, once by postal vote and a second time in person at the polling station.

Following enquiries by officers from the Metropolitan Police Service’s Special Enquiry Team, Qureshi was identified. He was interviewed on 22 August in connection with the allegation and subsequently charged with the offence.

As a result of his guilty plea, Qureshi was fined £150.00, was ordered to pay £200.00 towards prosecution costs and also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £30.00.

In addition to the court sentence, as the offence he committed was an illegal practice under the Representation of the People Act 1983, he faced additional sanctions in that he is not capable of being registered as an elector or voting at any parliamentary election in the United Kingdom or at any local government election in Great Britain, nor permitted to being elected to the House of Commons or holding any such elected office for a period of three years.

DI Gail Granville of the Special Enquiry Team said: "This result demonstrates the Met’s commitment to ensuring free and fair elections for all of our communities. In this year’s election the team received over 70 allegations of electoral malpractice across many of the London boroughs. The majority of those do not constitute an offence; however in this case a thorough investigation has led to today’s successful conviction.

"In the run up to the local and mayoral elections in May 2018 we will continue to work closely with the CPS, the Electoral Commission and local authorities across London in a proactive and preventative capacity to protect the integrity of the electoral process in London.

We would encourage anyone who wishes to report an electoral offence to email the Special Enquiry Team (SETelections@met.pnn.police.uk) or contact their local police or call 101."