A DOZEN complaints of alleged electoral fraud have been made to Cumbria Police about this month’s “nasty” local elections.

On May 2, thousands of voters across Cumbria went to the polls to choose councillors in Barrow, South Lakeland, Copeland, Allerdale, Carlisle and Eden.

Complaints have been made to the police regarding the Eden District Council elections, although the authority has declined to comment any further.

A candidate in the Eden election told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that they attended a police station in Penrith with their election agent.

They have made a formal complaint to police alleging “false statements about candidates, third-party campaigning and election expenses”.

The source told the Local Democracy Reporting service: “This year’s election was personal, nasty and dragged reputations through the mud.”

Cumbria Police said the complaints related to “minor infringements of electoral legislation.”

A spokesman said: “We can confirm that the constabulary has received approximately 12 reports of minor infringements of electoral legislation.

“Each of these reports have been assessed, in consultation with our partners in the Electoral Commission, and a proportionate investigation of each report has been undertaken.

“At the moment, each case has been dealt with by way of advice and guidance, reflecting the nature of the infringements.”

An Electoral Commission spokeswoman confirmed Cumbria Police had been in touch.

Councils in Barrow, South Lakeland, Carlisle and Copeland have all confirmed that they had not referred any complaints to the police from their elections.

A spokesman for Allerdale Council said: “We reported to the police a number of complaints that we received regarding allegations of minor infringements of electoral legislation. We’re not in a position to comment further on these.”

Guidance issued by the Electoral Commission states that the Representation of the People Act 1983 specifies a number of criminal offences relating to electoral fraud.

It includes rules such as candidates being required to use “imprints” on all their printed campaign material.

The imprint includes the name and address of the printer and promoter, or the person who authorised the material to be printed.