Postal voting is in danger of bringing about a return to "18th century fraud", the Tories claimed yesterday.
Shadow leader Oliver Heald argued during business questions that there were various problems with postal voting.
He told MPs he had previously "cited examples of babies receiving ballot papers, heads of families filling them in for the whole family, employers threatening to sack staff unless they voted for a particular political party, and other worrying abuses."
Furthermore, he said the leader of Birmingham City Council had called for a "national rethink" while the Tories and the Electoral Commission had called for individual voter registration to be introduced, as in Northern Ireland.
"We've also gone further and called for Government inspectors at upcoming elections in areas where abuses have been alleged."
He asked what had been done in the last nine months since he raised the matter with Commons leader Peter Hain.
"Is the Government really satisfied for this country to slide back to the worst days of impersonation and electoral fraud that were seen in the 18th century?"
Mr Hain replied that postal voting was now increasingly popular among "honest and upright citizens" who found it easier.
"Your suggestion that there's some return to 18th century fraud is pre-election hype and exaggeration and I'm sorry you've resorted to it."
He said there had been an alleged case of serious fraud in the West Midlands but there had been no pilot scheme there.
"The allegations there relate to the traditional method of postal voting, not an all-postal pilot."
The Electoral Commission had recommended that postal voting should remain part of the voting process but the process needed to be tightened.
"We accept their recommendations to strengthen the penalties for malpractice generally, for example, by establishing new offences around electoral fraud and impersonation."