§ Mr. Bates
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what arrangements are made for the storage of used ballot papers and counterfoils following parliamentary and local government elections; and what security arrangements are made to prevent unauthorised persons from viewing such papers;218W
(2) which persons are authorised to view used ballot papers and counterfoils in storage following parliamentary and local government elections; and who has to give permission for those without authority to view such papers.
§ Dr. Summerskill
Ballot papers and counterfoils for parliamentary elections must be sealed by the returning officer and sent by him to the Clerk of the Crown who is required to retain them for one year. They are kept in conditions of security in the Public Records Office and may only be opened on the order of the House of Commons, the High Court, or county court or an election court.
Ballot papers and counterfoils for local government elections must be sealed by the returning officer and sent by him to the proper officer of the council who is required to retain them for six months and is responsible for their security, subject to the directions of the council. The sealed packets may be opened only on the order of a county court or an election court.
At the end of the prescribed period these documents must be destroyed.