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Postal Ballots

Volume 407: debated on Wednesday 18 June 2003

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When he last met the Electoral Commission to discuss the all-postal vote pilot ballots and their possible extension. [119756]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister
(Yvette Cooper)

My right hon. Friend the Minister for Local Government and the Regions met the chair of the Electoral Commission on 22 May. Issues discussed included the highly successful pilot schemes held in May.

Given the success of the schemes and the increased turnout, is it not important that in 2004 at the local elections and the Euro elections, people still have the chance of all-postal ballots? What steps is my hon. Friend taking to ensure that that happens?

My hon. Friend is right that the all-postal ballots increased turnout on average from about 33 per cent. to just under 50 per cent. We are looking at the implications for the combination of the Euro elections and the local government elections next year.