Two Labour candidates failed to win seats in a city council elections despite their attempts to rig voting, a court has heard.
The first Asian mayor for Peterborough, Mohammed Choudhary, 49, and Maqbool Hussein, 51, schemed to forge postal votes, King's Lynn Crown Court heard.
The two men, along with Tariq Mahmood, 40, all from the city, deny conspiring to defraud and forgery.
The charges relate to the June 2004 elections in the city.
Jurors were told how an inquiry was launched after complaints from voters.
Suspension from party
Prosecutor Anthony Leonard QC told the court how neither Mr Choudhary nor Mr Hussein were elected despite the three men trying to manipulate the voting system.
"They were able to get hold of postal and proxy votes which belonged to voters in the Central Ward.
"They arranged for postal and ballot papers to be sent not to the voter but to addresses to which each defendant was connected."
Mr Mahmood was secretary of the local Labour party.
A Labour Party spokesman has said all three men have been suspended from representing the party pending the outcome of the trial.
The trial continues.