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Clause 3 — Absent votes and declarations of identity

Part of Orders of the Day — Election Fraud (Northern Ireland) Bill – in the House of Commons at 9:15 pm on 31st October 2001.

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Photo of Lembit Öpik Lembit Öpik Liberal Democrat, Montgomeryshire 9:15 pm, 31st October 2001

The Minister makes a fair point. After reading the fuller contribution that he made in Committee, I recall his views on the subject. However, will he at least recognise that there is a difference of view here—on one side a concern that it is easier if each form genuinely is an original, and on the other the argument that he is making—and will he accept my concern that if any photocopying is allowed, it significantly weakens the opportunities to trace voters who exercise absent votes? I do not want to pursue the matter further; I believe that we have both made our points.