Absent Voting

Electoral Commission Committee written question – answered on 25th February 2014.

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Photo of Chris Ruane Chris Ruane Labour, Vale of Clwyd

To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, on what date the Electoral Commission decided to consider restrictions to the handling of postal ballot forms by political parties.

Photo of Gary Streeter Gary Streeter Conservative, South West Devon

The Electoral Commission's research and submissions from interested groups and individuals raised concerns about the handling of post vote application forms and postal ballot packs by campaigners. In response, these concerns were reflected in a Commission evidence and issues paper issued in May 2013. The Commission sought views on proposals to restrict the handling of postal vote application forms and post ballot packs by campaigners during further public consultation between May and August 2013.

The Electoral Commission board approved the final recommendations for the review of electoral fraud vulnerabilities at its meeting on 18 September 2013. Minutes of all Electoral Commission board meetings are published on the Commission's website at:

www.electoralcommission.org.uk/our-work/who-we-are/the-commissioners/commissioner-meetings

The Electoral Commission's proposed changes to its Code of Conduct for Campaigners will be the subject of further discussions with hon. Members, as well as political parties, campaigners, Returning Officers and Electoral Registration Officers in advance of any proposals being introduced. Members of Parliament will be invited and encouraged to respond to consultation on proposed changes to the Code after the May 2014 elections.

If it is possible to successfully agree changes to the Code of Conduct for Campaigners, the Commission will encourage campaigners to commit to following a revised Code of Conduct for Campaigners for elections after 2014, including the May 2015 UK parliamentary general election.

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