To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans she has to introduce measures to ensure that postal vote ballot forms are efficiently despatched and returned to electoral returning officers in Inner London for the European, Mayoral and Greater London Assembly elections on 10 June; and if she will make a statement.
I have been asked to reply.
Under the applicable election rules and regulations, the Greater London Returning Officer has overall responsibility for organising and running the GLA elections (which include the Mayoral election) and, in 2004, the European Parliament elections in the London region, and Constituency Returning Officers in London have responsibility for the issue and receipt of postal ballot papers for both the GLA and European Parliament polls.
The rules stipulate that instructions to the voter should be included on the back of the Declaration of Identity form accompanying each ballot paper sent to postal voters in the GLA and European Parliament elections. Voters will receive a postage paid envelope for the return of their ballot papers by post. They are instructed to return ballot papers to the returning officer without delay by no later than the close of the poll, and have the option of delivering them instead to certain polling stations on polling day.