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To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, what recommendations the Electoral Commission has carried out into different overseas voting systems around the world; and what conclusions have been drawn that would be applicable to the UK.
The Electoral Commission has informed me that it has not carried out detailed work in this area nor made any specific recommendations for change. The Commission has, however, recommended changes to the current rules that will help overseas voters, including extending the timetable for elections in order to allow overseas voters more time to vote by post. This change is expected to come into effect for elections from 2014 onwards.
The Commission is aware that some other countries offer different solutions to help overseas electors participate in elections and believes a choice of voting methods is important. Any proposals to change the voting methods available to overseas electors would need to be carefully assessed before they are introduced, including to make sure that they are secure and cost effective. This assessment would include any relevant evidence available from other comparable democracies.