» Thursday, June 10, 2004

Postal Ballots

Asked if the Government was concerned that the postal ballot pilot schemes had been discredited, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) said she did not agree with the premise of the question. As she had told journalists yesterday, we would condemn any attempt to influence the outcome of the elections through fraud or intimidation. She pointed out that there was an offence of personation which carried a penalty of two years in prison if people were convicted. She added that we did not believe the postal voting system was any more prone to fraud than the more the traditional way of voting using the ballot box, as earlier postal ballot pilot schemes had shown. Asked if it was possible that all-postal voting might not feature in future elections, the PMS said that an evaluation of the pilots would be carried out after the elections to examine how well the system had worked. Asked if she would agree that it would have been wiser to limit the pilots to two areas rather than four, the PMS said that there were four regions where postal voting was being piloted. The Electoral Commission would evaluate the results once the elections were over. Asked if the whole country would vote by post in the next election if the pilot schemes were deemed to be a success, the PMS said that she was not aware of any plans for compulsory postal votes for the whole country.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news

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