§ Chris Ruane
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many postal ballot papers and what percentage were spoilt during the 2003 local elections, broken down by local authority area; and what plans he has to simplify and standardise postal balloting. 
§ Phil Hope
Information on spoilt postal ballot papers is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
A number of innovative measures for making postal voting easier and more secure were tested in May 2003 local electoral pilots. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister will have regard to the Electoral Commission's evaluation of these (to be published at the end of July) and to the Commission's recommendations on voting by post in their recent report, 'Voting for change' before deciding on any steps to simplify and standardise voting by post.