To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to page 29 of the Government response to Sir Eric Pickles' review of electoral fraud, published in December 2016, what discussions his Department has had with the 18 local authorities identified with respect to their interest in taking part in the pilot schemes.
The Government’s view is that electoral fraud is unacceptable on any level. In the response, published in December, we have set out on a path to a clear and secure democracy following the commitments in our 2015 manifesto to tackling electoral fraud and protecting our electoral system. In its response to Securing the Ballot, the Government outlined its intention to introduce pilot schemes in a number of Local Authority areas at local elections in 2018, to test the impact of voter identification on the conduct of elections in the UK. The 18 Local Authorities listed in the Government’s response have previously been designated by the Electoral Commission as being the most at risk of allegations of electoral fraud, and it is recognised that these authorities may be interested in operating such schemes, as indeed may be other authorities. Once we have agreed the process and scope of the pilot schemes, we will share this information with Local Authorities and key partner organisations. The response presents a holistic package for reform that will strengthen our electoral system, and the Government is now looking in detail at how and when work on each of the recommendations can be taken forward.