Elections: Fraud

Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission written question – answered on 2nd November 2015.

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Photo of Stewart Jackson Stewart Jackson Conservative, Peterborough

To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, what steps the Electoral Commission is taking to tackle electoral fraud in (a) Peterborough and (b) England; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Gary Streeter Gary Streeter Conservative, South West Devon

The Commission provides advice to those who are involved on the frontline in identifying, investigating and prosecuting cases of electoral fraud. Before each set of elections the Commission provides advice to the police, electoral administrators and others on ways to prevent and detect electoral fraud, based on the best practice it has identified through working with partners across electoral administration and the justice system. Each year the Commission publishes data on allegations of electoral fraud that are reported to the police.

The Commission targets additional support for those on the front line in 18 areas in England where there is a higher risk of allegations of electoral fraud. This includes Peterborough and the Commission will be working again with these areas before the elections in May 2016 to build on what was done prior to the General Election. The Commission issued briefings to all honourable members in the last parliament on the work it was undertaking prior to the General Election to help tackle electoral fraud and will do so again before the elections in May 2016.

In its 2014 review of electoral fraud, the Commission recommended that voters in Great Britain should be required to produce ID at polling stations, although it is yet to receive a response to this recommendation from the Government. The Commission has submitted evidence to the review being undertaken by Sir Eric Pickles and hopes that he agrees with it and that the Government accepts the Commission’s recommendation.

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