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Electoral Registration

Volume 447: debated on Monday 12 June 2006

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what estimate her Department has made of the number of (a) failed asylum seekers and (b) foreign nationals not from the Commonwealth or Irish Republic who are fraudulently on the electoral register. (73919)

This information is not collected. Electoral registers are available for public inspection and anyone who believes that an ineligible person has been included may notify the ERO who may then make further inquiries as to the eligibility of that individual. Currently, it is an offence to fail to supply information to the ERO and knowingly supply false information on the annual canvass form. The Electoral Administration Bill, currently under consideration, strengthens the objection process and creates a new offence of supplying false information of any kind to an ERO, or failing to supply information in connection with registration, at any time. The electoral register does not specify the immigration or asylum status of individuals entered on it; however, the addition of a “nationality” box in the registration form does provide an opportunity for EROs to determine the eligibility of an applicant for inclusion in the register on the basis of their stated nationality.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs pursuant to the answer of 18 April 2006, Official Report, column 43W, on electoral registration officers, what estimate her Department has made of the cost of writing to each electoral registration officer to obtain the information on prosecutions brought for failing to return an electoral registration form. (75351)

To obtain such information by writing to electoral registration officers (EROs) would exceed the threshold of £600 set for parliamentary questions. Furthermore, any records kept by EROs locally at their discretion would not necessarily distinguish between the cost of prosecutions brought specifically for failing to return an electoral registration form and the cost of any prosecutions brought for other electoral offences.