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Absent Voting

Volume 461: debated on Tuesday 12 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will conduct an investigation into the postal ballot delays for the Scottish elections on 3 May. (136137)

[holding answer 8 May 2007]: The Electoral Commission has appointed Mr. Ron Gould to lead the statutory review of the May elections. The Electoral Commission published the terms of reference of this review on 21 May, confirming that Mr. Gould will consider the arrangements for postal voting.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what his estimate is of the number of voters in Scotland who will be unable to cast their vote for the Scottish Parliamentary and local government elections as a result of the delay in sending out the postal ballots; and if he will make a statement. (136138)

[holding answer 8 May 2007]: This information is not available because there is no way of knowing, from those who do not return their postal votes, how many simply chose not to return their ballot papers and how many were not able to return them for practical reasons, for example, being on holiday. I understand that the majority of postal votes were received by voters a week before polling day, or even earlier.