A political activist has been interviewed by detectives for election irregularities in Kirklees.
Polling day in the borough has again been mired in controversy after an official complaint was made about someone breaking electoral laws.
Details of the alleged crime have not been revealed but Kirklees Council confirmed the police were involved.
Det Insp Ben McDonald of the Economic Crime Unit, said: "Following an allegation of electoral fraud committed in the Kirklees area, a 75-year-old man has been interviewed in relation to the matter. Enquiries into the matter remain ongoing."
The Examiner understands it involved a Facebook post which revealed the number of votes Mirfield’s Conservative candidate, Clr Martyn Bolt, had following the opening of postal votes, which are counted prior to polling day.
The Examiner has seen a Facebook entry between two Conservative party members in the ward which reveals the status of the voting.
Clr Bolt said he knew nothing of the police probe and had nothing to do with it.
The Examiner has attempted to contact both individuals involved but neither have responded.
The controversy is the latest postal voting controversy for Kirklees – which was highlighted as a high risk area for possible allegations of electoral irregularities in a report by the Electoral Commission in 2014.
In recent years the borough has had issues with claims of fraudulent postal voting in the Dewsbury area.
West Yorkshire Police investigated an unusual surge in postal and proxy voting but no one was ever prosecuted.
Today’s issue comes as a recent report from the Electoral Commission revealed there were 481 cases of alleged electoral fraud recorded by the police in the UK last year.
Mark Hallas, CEO of Crimestoppers, said: “Although the number of electoral fraud cases reported last year is relatively low, we can’t be complacent and we believe it is important to continue to raise awareness of the issue.
“Voters across the UK will be heading to the polling stations on Thursday 5 May; they have a right to vote for whoever they want and be confident that their vote counts.
“Electoral fraud is a crime and it is our duty to help bring to justice those who are responsible for it but also to help to educate the public, so that voters can recognise electoral fraud and report it if they know it’s happening.”
Electoral fraud offences include:
· Pretending to be someone else to use their vote (personation)
· False application to register to vote
· False application for proxy or postal vote
· Tampering with ballot papers or postal ballot packs.
· Influencing voters through intimidation or threats
· Influencing voters through bribery or ‘treating’ with gifts
· Failing to mark election material with the details of the printer and party candidate responsible
· Making false statements about candidates
· Allegations against Returning Officers and staff.