HC Deb 25 February 1997 vol 291 cc129-30W
Mrs. Clwyd

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what plans the Government have to review the format of the absent voter forms to prevent fraud and misappropriation of proxy votes; [17137]

(2) if he will instruct his Department to collate centrally the number of proxy votes at the next general election; [17135]

(3) what steps are being taken to monitor the exercising of proxy votes in local government elections; [17139]

(4) what systems are in place to monitor the number of people claiming proxy votes in elections; and if he will make a statement; [17138]

(5) if he will ensure the central collection of statistics on the use of proxy votes at local government elections. [17140]

Mr. Sackville

Absent voting application forms were amended in 1994 to ensure that electors indicate clearly whether they are applying to vote by post or proxy, and to ensure that all appointments of a proxy are signed by the elector. These amendments help to prevent fraud. The number of proxies appointed to vote by constituency in the general election will be published in the booklet "Election Expenses", printed by the Stationery Office after the election on the order of the House. Information relating to proxy voting at local government elections is not collected centrally, and there are no plans to do so.