Clause 2 - Dates of birth and ballot papers

Part of Electoral Fraud (Northern Ireland) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:30 pm on 16th October 2001.

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Photo of Des Browne Des Browne Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Northern Ireland Office, Parliamentary Secretary (Northern Ireland Office) 5:30 pm, 16th October 2001

It is important for the hon. Gentleman to address the circumstances in which he thinks that the deterrent would work. It would have to deter somebody who had gone to the trouble of getting a forged passport, a forged driving licence, a forged Translink card and made him or herself look over 65 to justify that or, alternatively, a forged electoral identity card. I do not know if the hon. Gentleman is seriously trying to persuade the Committee that a person who would go to all that trouble would baulk at putting a signature on a piece of paper. If he thinks that they would, it may be a deterrent but, frankly, I do not think that it is.