Spectator writer Charles Moore has been referred to police after admitting to voting twice in the EU referendum for a piece aimed at exposing flaws in the British voting system.
Under UK law, voting twice in the same election is a criminal offence. The only exception is during local elections when someone who has two homes can vote separately in both constituencies.
In his column, published on Thursday last week, Moore said he agreed the “experiment” with Spectator editor Fraser Nelson beforehand with the conclusion that it was in the public interest.
As a legally registered voter in both Sussex and London, Moore said he was able to present a polling card at both centres and was allowed to vote at each, although he said he deliberate spoiled the second.
The former Daily Telegraph editor wrote: “The ballot is not nearly as secure as it should be. If that trend continues, the results will be called in doubt, and then democracy really is in trouble.”
The Electoral Commission has since referred the matter to the Met police.
A spokesperson for the Met said: “The Met received a referral by the Electoral Commission on 17 August. The matter is currently subject to assessment by officers from the Special Enquiry Team.”
Nelson wrote in a blog post that the Electoral Commission “should have thanked” Moore rather than referring him to the police, saying he had drawn attention to “a glaring flaw in our democratic system”.
“He clearly acted in the public interest, and didn’t actually vote twice. He voted once, and then spoiled a ballot – so what he did made no difference to the result,” said Nelson.
“Rather than keep it a secret, he wrote it all up in The Spectator. Motivated only by a desire to try to accelerate reform, and clean up the system.”