To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, whether the ballot papers for the (a) proposed referendum on the alternative vote and (b) elections to the Scottish Parliament in 2010 have been tested for acceptability to voters by the Electoral Commission.
The Electoral Commission has informed me that the designs for the ballot papers for the proposed referendum on the voting system for UK parliamentary elections and the Scottish Parliament elections are prescribed in legislation introduced by the UK Government.
The Commission has not undertaken user-testing of the design of the ballot paper for the proposed referendum, although it undertook extensive user-testing research on the wording of the question that will appear on the ballot paper as part of its assessment of the question to be asked at the referendum.
The Commission has further informed me that it has not undertaken user-testing on the design of ballot papers for the Scottish Parliament elections, although it has made recommendations to the Scotland Office that it should undertake user-testing of the proposed designs in line with the Commission's "Making your mark" guidance.