§ Mr. Gordon Prentice
To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what safeguards he is proposing to put in place to deter electoral fraud following the introduction of all postal voting. 
§ Mr. Leslie
Postal voting has been available for many years and since 2000 has been available on demand. There are several safeguards in place for this, a Declaration of Identity as well as a variety of offences including personation and undue influence. For the all-postal pilots in June this year, the European Parliamentary and Local Elections (Pilots) Bill builds on existing sanctions, by extending the offence of personation to be an arrestable offence outside polling stations and also by allowing the time limit for investigating electoral offences to be extended, along with a range of practical measures, in partnership with electoral administrators and other key stakeholders, to address potential fraud. Returning Officers can perform checks, including random inspection of Declaration of Identities and the checking of signatures against those already on file or investigating where more than a1658W certain number of ballot papers are sent to or redirected to one address. This is building on the experience gained during a series of successful pilots at local elections.