In Cornwall, it has come to light, that there may have been instances, where second home owners have voted twice in the general election, leading to doubts being cast over the outcome of the results. Now local council leaders have written to the Government asking for clarification over what they term confusing” laws concerning registering second home owners on the electoral role.
Cornwall has a higher than average proportion of second home owners and it is thought that this possible double voting may have affected the outcome of a number of seats.
Kevin Lavery, chief executive at Cornwall Council has written to Nick Clegg asking for clarification over the confusion. Concerns were initially raised by local councillors in the summer following the general election, after it had been suggest that second home owners may have affected the result.
Cornwall County Councils election monitoring officer has since been carrying out research with the help of the Electoral Commission. Local councilor’s hope that this action by the council may in the long term be adopted by other local authorities and a mechanism put in to place that will stop second home owners being able to vote twice.
With hind sight, it would have been better to have addressed this matter prior to the general election and not now, perhaps after the damage has been done. Surprisingly, this situation of the possibility of double voting by second home owners has received little press in the past.
It is thought that if voters could simply elect to have a main residence for voting purposes then this may prevent the situation arising again in the future. There is of course, the slight possibility with this idea, that homeowners could then tactically select an address depending on where they saw their vote most needed.