§ Mr. Beggs
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many applicants for postal or proxy votes for the election to be held on 30 May, have been refused by the chief electoral officer because they stated that they would be on holiday; what plans he has to take steps to reverse this ruling; and if he will advise the chief electoral officer to amend the existing application form so that applicants know to state where they will be on holiday. 
§ Mr. Ancram
A total of 56 applications for a postal or proxy vote were refused to individuals who cited leave or holiday as the reason for recruiting an absent vote for the 30 May election. The precise reasons for the refusals in these cases are, however, a matter for the chief electoral officer alone to consider. The application form that is used by those wishing to apply for a one-off postal or proxy vote at a particular election already advises in the notes on the reverse of the form that the applicant should indicate where he or she will be on holiday.