Absent Voting

Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission written question – answered on 14th January 2015.

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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, (a) how many and (b) what proportion of postal voters did not transfer to the individual electoral register in each (i) local authority and (ii) parliamentary constituency.

Photo of Gary Streeter Gary Streeter Conservative, South West Devon

The Commission has previously published information on the number and proportion of postal voters matched as a result of the confirmation process. This data is available on the Commission’s website by ward and local authority, but not by parliamentary constituency. It was published last year on 21 October for England and Wales and on 25 November for Scotland.

· England and Wales: http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/excel_doc/0006/177963/CLR-Data-Ward-results-WEBSITE.xlsx

· Scotland: http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/excel_doc/0020/179030/CLR-Scotland-LA-Data-WEBSITE.xlsx

Postal voters who were not matched through the confirmation process will have been invited by their Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) to register under IER. If they did not respond to the original invitation, they will have been sent up to two reminders and will also have received a personal visit.

While these electors will not be removed from the register until the end of the transition as a result of the change, those existing postal voters who have not been confirmed will not be able to vote by post until they have registered individually.

The Commission’s guidance to EROs emphasises the importance of targeting this particular group in order to maximise the number of electors being able to vote using their preferred method of voting at the scheduled polls in May 2015.

Additionally, by law, EROs are required to write to all electors who have lost their postal vote entitlement on publication of the revised registers within one month of that publication, explaining what they need to do if they wish to continue to vote by post and providing information on how to register individually.

The Commission will be publishing further information on the progress of the transition to IER in England and Wales in February 2015 and in Scotland in April 2015.

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