Britain’s Conservative Party confirmed Wednesday that it had delayed sending ballots to members for the leadership election to “increase the security of the voting process” after consulting with the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC).
The rules were also changed to prevent members from voting a second time to invalidate their first vote.
Meanwhile, former Conservative treasurer Sir Peter Crudas continued to try to throw a spanner into the construction, calling for a moratorium on the campaign and offering to cover the costs of the ‘Boris Vote’. He accepts Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s resignation.
About 160,000 Conservatives were expected to receive ballot packs this week. The pack includes a paper ballot, online voting instructions, and two unique security codes that allow members to vote by mail or online for candidate Liz Her Truss or Liz Her Snack . .
The party previously said on its website that eligible members could expect to receive their ballots between Aug. It said the ballots would arrive in between. The change was made on Tuesday.
According to The Telegraph, party members received a message Tuesday night that the ballots “arrived a little late” because the party “has taken some time to add extra security to the voting process.”
Previous rules technically allowed voters to change their minds on a second ballot, but now they can only vote once.
The party’s website previously stated that “you can only vote once, and if a voting agency receives two votes, only the last received vote will be counted.”
On Tuesday the line changed to: Members who attempt to do so will be disqualified. “
A Conservative Party spokesperson said: Eligible members will begin receiving ballot packs this week. “
An NCSC spokesperson said:
“As expected from the UK National Cybersecurity Authority, we have advised the Conservative Party on the security considerations of online leadership polls.”
NCSC is not believed to have responded to any specific threat to the contest.
This is not the first time online security concerns have surfaced during elections, with contests around the world being targeted.
A 2020 Intelligence and Security Commission report on Russia found that Moscow “carried out malicious cyber activities” including “attempts to influence democratic elections in other countries.” did.
Members of Parliament and colleagues who have been scrutinizing the work of British intelligence said, “The workings of the British voting system are generally considered sound. , significant interference will be difficult,” he said. “
But the next prime minister, either Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak, will not enter Downing Street as a result of the general election, but will enter the Conservative leadership contest and members will be able to vote online. .
So far, Sunak has consistently trailed Truss in Conservative polls.
according to YouGov poll Of the 1,043 party members announced Tuesday, Truss is up 14 points from July 21, with a 38-point lead, and those who thought they were going to vote for her might change their minds. was of low quality.
Crudas, along with former Conservative MP David Campbell-Bannerman and the Conservative Post, previously issued a petition demanding a vote on Johnson’s resignation.
and letter At the Conservative Board meeting on Wednesday, Mr Crudas said his campaign had sent about 12,000 signatures to the board, with another 5,000 expected to be sent by the end of the week.
Crudas called on the board to suspend the election, “solve the cyber problem” by refusing to resign Mr Johnson, and hand over Mr Boris’ ballot to party members.
If party members decide to accept Johnson’s resignation, Cladus said he would pay for cybersecurity due to the competition between Truss and Johnson.
PA Media contributed to this report.