A VOTER in Dumfries has gone to the Electoral Commission (EC) after he received a letter from Tory MSP Oliver Mundell inviting him to complete a postal vote application form and return it to his office – and not to the “preferred address” of the local Electoral Registration Officer.

David Howdle said he considered that the letter breached the code of conduct for political parties, which states under paragraph 15: “Because of the risk of suspicions that the application may be altered and the risk of the application form being delayed or lost in transit, the local Electoral Registration Officer’s address should be the preferred address for the return of application forms.”

He then sought clarification from Mundell, but after an email exchange resulting in an “unsatisfactory” response, took it to the EC.

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The commission noted its displeasure in its response, which read: “We have been in touch with the political party in question to ask them to remind their candidates they should ensure that the local Electoral Registration Officer’s address is clearly provided as the preferred address for the return of registration and absent vote application forms.

“We will also be reminding other political parties in the same way and will be monitoring adherence to the Code.”

Howdle said he was concerned that Mundell’s office was likely to know how anyone who responded would vote.

“This is a fishing expedition because the envelope is addressed to the Mundell party headquarters,” he told The National.

“It doesn’t say what’s in it so they’ve got to open it to find out it’s an application for a postal vote ... but it also gives them access to that person’s personal data.

“What are they using this information for?”

A spokesperson for the Scottish Tories said: “Thank you for bringing this to our attention.”