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 Crispin Blunt Crispin Blunt Shadow Spokesperson (Northern Ireland) 5:30 pm, 16th October 2001

The point at issue is that at an election such as that in Fermanagh and South Tyrone, which was decided by 53 votes, or in any election that has the potential to be decided by one or two votes anywhere or in the event of an accusation of widespread fraud, the proposal would provide a way of returning to the record and saying that in the course of the election a number of people voted who should not have done. The courts would then decide whether, on the basis of the evidence, the election should stand or another election should be called. In such circumstances, the result would be addressed.

I listened to the Minister and I take on board his assurance that we should rely on photographic evidence in the first instance and hope that that works. He said that if it becomes necessary to use signatures, they are on the registration forms and could be an issue that the Government would address. I am happy to rest on that assurance.