The Minister of State for Northern Ireland, Rt Hon Andrew Robathan MP today published a consultation proposing new designs for the voting forms used in elections in Northern Ireland.
The proposals aim to modernise the appearance of the forms and make them more accessible to voters.
The government is seeking views on a range of forms, including the ballot paper, poll cards and the declaration of identity.
Mr Robathan said:
It is vitally important that we encourage as many people as possible to participate in elections. This means ensuring that elections are accessible and that voters are not discouraged from taking part by information that is confusing or difficult to understand.
The consultation I am publishing today sets out new proposals to modernise the design of forms used in elections and make the information within them clearer, for example by including pictorial guidance and headings to distinguish between different elections.
These changes will affect all voters in Northern Ireland and I encourage as many people as possible to comment.
The government expects to bring forward legislation during 2014 to make changes to the forms ahead of the UK Parliamentary election in 2015. The changes will also be applied to European Parliamentary, Northern Ireland Assembly and local elections held after 2014.