HC Deb 18 June 1997 vol 296 c205W
Mr. Robert McCartney

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if she will include passports from New Zealand and other commonwealth countries in the list of identity documents required to allow an elector to vote in Northern Ireland elections. [1317]

Dr. Mowlam

There are currently 53 members of the Commonwealth all of which issue passports in differing formats and numerous languages. Adding some or indeed all of these documents to the list of specified documents would place an unreasonable burden on polling station officials who already have to be familiar with the standardised passport issued by member states of the European Union. It would be unrealistic to expect the Chief Electoral Officer's staff to recognise and verify the authenticity of such a range of documents which could increase the opportunities for forgery and abuse of the system.

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