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Voting Arrangements

Volume 450: debated on Monday 16 October 2006

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what arrangements are in place to enable the mentally ill to vote; and if she will make a statement. (93026)

The Electoral Administration Act 2006 has introduced a number of measures to allow electors who suffer from mental illness to vote. Section 35 of the Act provides that patients detained in mental hospitals can either vote by post or proxy, or in person at a polling station if they have permission to leave the hospital for whatever reason.

In addition, section 73 of the Act has abolished the old common law that prevented certain persons from voting due to their mental state.

We intend to commence these sections of the Act in time for elections in May 2007.