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GOVERNMENT COMMENT ON VOTING REFORM PROPOSALS

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Recommendations* for voting reform from the Electoral Commission will be considered by the Department of Constituti...
Recommendations* for voting reform from the Electoral Commission will be considered by the Department of Constitutional Affairs.

Downing Street's website carries the following summary of a press briefing on Friday.

The prime minister's spokeswoman said:

'Asked if we were going to accept the Electoral Commission's recommendations, the PMS said we were going to consider them. The Electoral Administration Bill would shortly be introduced. This would put forward a number of changes to the present system, as we wanted to ensure that elections were continued to be run in a safe and secure manner.

'Asked if the integrity of the voting system was a cross party consensus or was it imposed by the government's view on it, the PMS said we wanted to ensure that the arrangements put forward were as safe and secure as possible.

'Asked if that meant the prime minister was open to ideas from the other political parties, the PMS said when we had brought forward the bill, no doubt the other parties would make their own views known. If they wanted to put forward amendments, then there would be a discussion in the house. The PMS said that parliament was where such issues were discussed best for a consensus to be reached.

'Asked if the government was opposed to individual voter registration, the PMS said we thought having one form per household, with all the names from that household listed was easier to administer and was more effective. The PMS explained that it was easier to see at a glance who was registered from each household if they were all listed on the same form. Individuals would have to sign each form, and give their date of birth.

'Put to her that the Electoral Commission had said that all postal voting should not be pursued, and the opposition had demanded that the government rule out all postal voting in local elections next year, and was that something the government was going to do, the PMS directed the journalist to the DCA for further information regarding next year's elections.'

* The Electoral Commission's Detailed proposals for voting reform

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