A petition has been presented to the High Court demanding a “recount” of votes cast in local elections for a neighborhood in High Wycombe.
Liberal Democrat candidate Anwar Rashid has asked the High Court of Justice to “order a recount” of the ballots received for the Totteridge and Bowerdean neighborhood, following allegations of electoral fraud.
“Notice is hereby given that an election petition has been brought to the High Court on behalf of the petitioner, Anwar Rashid, of 41 Adelaide Road, High Wycombe,” reads the notice.
READ MORE: Investigation into suspected High Wycombe voter fraud ongoing
Mr Rashid was a Liberal Democrat candidate for Totteridge and Bowerdean, alongside fellow Lib Dems Ben Holkham and Chaudhry Mahmood.
In June, Thames Valley Police (TVP) confirmed they were “investigating” alleged voter fraud in the May 6 local election, involving the Totteridge and Bowerdean neighborhood.
The police investigation came after a group of men reportedly attempted to break into the main lobby of the Wycombe Leisure Center on May 8 as the election count was underway.
It is not known whether the attempted break-in at the recreation center and the allegation are related.
READ MORE: Repair to make ‘safe’ path marked ‘more dangerous than before’
Since then, the Liberal Democrats have alleged that more than 100 ballots were spoiled, suggesting “possible tampering to ensure that those Lib Dem votes would be rejected.”
At the time, TVP said: “No offenses were identified by officers at the scene, no arrests were made and the election count continued.”
Independent Councilors Steve Guy, Imran Hussain and Julia Wassell were elected to represent the parish.
“The problem… involves more than 100 spoiled ballots, almost all of which have three Lib Dem crosses of one color and a fourth cross for a candidate from another party of a different color,” Mr Holkham said previously. .
“Since only three crosses per ballot are allowed, the added fourth cross spoiled those 100 or more ballots.
“This suggests a possible tampering to ensure these Lib Dem votes are rejected, and as such is of deep concern.”
The High Court petition states: “The returning officer also declared that 108 ballots cast by voters in said constituency were rejected as invalid.
“Unknown persons have been guilty of multiple offenses consisting of falsifying up to 108 ballots by fraudulently altering them.
“If the rejected ballots had not been tampered with, the petitioner and the other two Liberal Democratic candidates would each have received 80 or more additional votes. ”
He adds: “The applicant asserts (declares) that the above evidence constitutes sufficient grounds for the court to order a recount of the votes. ”
A spokesperson for Thames Valley Police said: “TVP received a report of suspected fraud on May 10, 2021, relating to the May 6, 2021 election at High Wycombe. ”
They added: “We are still investigating.”
We have launched a new Facebook group for local news junkies, political fans and anyone who wants to stay up to date with the latest issues affecting High Wycombe. Please join the conversation at Buckinghamshire Politics