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Elections: Postal Votes

Volume 717: debated on Thursday 4 February 2010


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will advise returning officers to write to voters whose postal votes have not been opened and counted as a result of not providing personal identifiers or because of defects in the personal identifiers returned; and whether a list of such electors will be supplied to the local police. [HL1454]

The Electoral Commission is responsible for providing advice to returning officers in relation to the management and conduct of elections. However, there is currently no provision in electoral law for returning officers to write to postal voters in the manner suggested by the noble Lord. During the passage of the Political Parties and Elections Act 2009, the Government committed to considering, with the Electoral Commission, the Association of Chief Police Officers and other stakeholders, whether such provision should form part of the next electoral Bill.

The Electoral Commission's guidance to electoral administrators for UK parliamentary elections covers electoral integrity. It states that if any returning officer has suspicions of fraudulent activity, or receives any allegations about possible absent voting fraud, these should be reported to the police for further investigation.