Ban foreign languages at polling stations, local Tory demands

English language only? Local Tory wants restrictions amid fraud concerns.
English language only? Local Tory wants restrictions amid fraud concerns.
Ian Dunt By

Polling stations should be made English-language only to prevent electoral fraud, a local Tory politician has demanded.

Derby opposition leader Phillip Hickson said the use of foreign languages at polling stations meant electoral fraud could take place under the authorities' noses, according to the Derby Telegraph.

"I've heard in polling stations, in the past, officials speaking to voters in a language other than English and I think that’s inappropriate," he said.

If officials were only allowed to speak English "you could then hear what is being said and know that the message being given is the correct one," he added.


"I can't think of any reason this rule couldn't be brought in."

The comments comes as the city council responds to an Electoral Commission finding that Derby is among 16 authorities at a "higher risk" of fraud.

The finding follows the conviction of five people over fraud at a Derby polling station in 2012.

A council spokesperson told the Derby Telegraph that Hickson's suggestion would not be useful.

"Electoral Commission guidance is very elector-focused and they see having staff who can translate enquiries as beneficial," they said.

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