Faisal Rana, a Labour councillor in Rochdale, has been cautioned by the police after admitting voting twice in May’s elections for the location council.
Cllr Rana has properties in two different wards and joined the electoral register at both addresses. The wards are in different Parliamentary constituencies but both within Rochdale council. Faisal Rana cast votes in both wards at the Rochdale council elections earlier this year.
It is legal to be registered in more than one place, such as students who can register both at home and at university if they have gone away for university. But it is illegal to vote more than once for the same body. One of those example students could, for example, vote in both places at council elections if they are for different local councils. They could only vote once in a general election.
Faisal Rana said:
I have accepted a police caution for an electoral offence, which relates to me casting separate votes for two different wards in two different Constituencies (Spotland and Falinge, and Norden Ward) in the local elections earlier this year.
I legally registered my votes by providing my genuine national insurance number, date of birth and addresses and when I received these through the post I thought it would have been OK and that is why they issued me two ballots for two constituencies.
I did not realise this was an offence and misinterpreted the rule that says it is possible to vote in two different electoral areas. [Sky News]
Cllr Rana had held the assistant finance portfolio in the ruling Labour group. He is now reported to have “stepped away” from the role.
The official police statement on the case said,
On Monday August 13, a 51-year-man was cautioned with engaging in an act at an election intending to deprive another of a vote contrary to sections 62A(1) and 168(1) of the Representation of the People Act 1983.
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