Etchingham journalist investigated by police over voting protest


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A journalist from Etchingham is being investigated by police after he revealed that he had voted twice in June's EU referendum.

Charles Moore, the former Daily Telegraph editor, said he had sought to expose security flaws in the voting system.

Writing in the Spectator, he said he was able to vote once in Sussex and a second time in London, where he spoiled his ballot.

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However it has been revealed that the Metropolitan Police are investigating Mr Moore’s actions following a referral from the Electoral Commission.

In his article in the Spectator, Mr Moore said: “In Sussex, I went to the polling station early.

“I took my polling card, which is not compulsory, and asked the clerk what the significance of the barcode on it was.

“He had no idea, so presumably it has no security function (or the clerks are poorly trained). I voted to leave the European Union.

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“Then I caught a train to London, where I went to my local polling station.

“There I presented my London polling card, unchallenged.

“I went into the booth and wrote on the ballot paper ‘I am spoiling my ballot because I have voted already. This second vote is my protest at how lax the voting rules are.’”

Mr Moore said his actions were in the public interest and went on to say: “If it is so easy for hundreds of thousands of people who legitimately have more than one vote (eg second-home owners, students) to vote more than once, it must be almost equally easy to acquire more than one vote by false registrations at legitimate addresses.”

Rother District Council declined to comment on Mr Moore’s actions as the police are investigating.

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It is not the first time Mr Moore has hit the headlines in recent years.

In 2010 he appeared at Hastings Magistrates Court after refusing to pay his TV licence in protest.

Mr Moore announced in his column in The Daily Telegraph that he intended to withhold his £142.50 licence fee after the BBC failed to sack Jonathan Ross after he and comedian Russell Brand left offensive messages on the answerphone of former Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs. The episode led to over 25,000 complaints after it was broadcast on Radio 2.

Mr Moore was fined £262, ordered to pay £530 costs and a victim surcharge of £15.

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