Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.Donate to our crowdfunder
The Electoral Administration Bill includes several provisions to prevent fraud in postal voting.
Does my right hon. and learned Friend agree that it is important to reassure the public that voting by post is secure and reliable? Will she confirm that she will take care not to impose so many restrictions that the bureaucracy deters people from applying for a postal vote and voting by post?
We want to ensure that people have the choice of voting by post, which is an increasingly popular way of voting. However, we must also make it absolutely clear that security in postal voting is not an option. To achieve that, we need robust legal provisions—we shall improve them in the Electoral Administration Bill, which I shall bring before the House next week—and good support for the operational activity to deter and prevent fraud on the ground. We shall achieve both those things.
The greatest level of security would come from individual voter registration, backed up by national insurance numbers. Why will the Government not countenance that?
The hon. Gentleman is not right to say that we will not countenance it. In the Electoral Administration Bill, we are making provision to pilot the testing of individual identifiers and signatures. The right way to proceed is on an evidence base. We need to achieve three things to ensure the legitimacy of democracy. The first is that everyone should have access to a vote, which means everyone who is eligible being on the register. The second is that everyone should want to vote, which relates to high turnouts and to the point made by my hon. Friend Mr. Kidney about postal voting. The third is that nobody should fiddle the vote. We need to focus on all three, and to have measures that will work across the board. That is what we shall be doing.