William Eichler 01 August 2018

Postal voting pilots ‘well-run’, electoral commission says

Pilot schemes for postal and proxy voters carried out during last May’s local elections were ‘well-run’, an electoral body has concluded.

The pilots, held in Peterborough, Slough and Tower Hamlets, consisted of a leaflet in postal ballot packs with additional information on postal voting and what voters should do if they were concerned about electoral fraud.

Returning Officers also contacted a sample of voters to check they had applied for a postal vote, and people voting as proxies in Peterborough were required to show identification at polling stations.

An Electoral Commission’s report into the pilot scheme concluded that they were ‘well-run’ and manageable for electoral staff, but it also said it was not able to draw firm conclusions on their impact.

‘We welcome measures that could provide voters with greater confidence in the security of voting by post or when appointing a proxy to cast a vote on their behalf,’ said Craig Westwood, director of communications and research at the Electoral Commission.

‘Returning Officers in areas where there have been concerns about electoral fraud can learn from these pilots and provide voters at future elections with useful information about how to keep their vote safe.’

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