Tag Archives: Electoral Registration and Administration Bill

Individual electoral registration: Northern Ireland shows that the annual canvass must be kept

Electoral Commission logoOne of the key disputes over how individual electoral registration should be introduced in England, Scotland and Wales is whether having people join and leave the register regularly through the year, alongside better use of other information about people moving (e.g. prompting people who take out a new TV license to register), would mean that the once-a-year check on all addresses – the ‘annual canvass’ – can be dropped.

The Electoral Commission has just published the results of its research into how individual electoral registration has

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Chris Rennard writes: How can we make sure that people can vote?

Just before the Summer recess, the House of Lords began formal consideration of the hugely significant Electoral Registration and Administration Bill. Among other things this introduces Individual Electoral Registration (IER) for Great Britain. The system has been in operation in Northern Ireland since 2002.

I was closely in involved in working with other Liberal Democrats to change the proposals first put forward in the Government’s white paper which could have had the effect of significantly reducing the levels of voter registration in Great Britain. Mark Williams wrote about them

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Individual electoral registration: welcome changes to the details

Over the weekend, I wrote about how welcome the ancillary details are in the newly published Electoral Registration and Administration Bill. Those are the “and Administration” part of the Bill, but the main act is electoral registration, with the Bill laying out details of the move to individual electoral registration across Great Britain, catching up with Northern Ireland.

I’ve written before about why individual electoral registration is a good policy, and hence has been long pushed for by the Electoral Commission and supported by all the main political parties. In brief, it is to do with principle (your right to vote shouldn’t depend on whether or not someone else fills in a form on your behalf), with fraud (individual registration will be a bit like putting window locks on, cutting crime by making it harder) and with the problem of landlords registering themselves rather than their tenants. You can read more about that in What’s the point of switching to individual electoral registration? but on to the Bill…

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A trio of very welcome election law changes on the way

Postal ballot paper being postedThe Queen’s Speech mentioned a Bill to introduce individual electoral registration (see this post if you’re not sure why individual electoral registration is a good thing). It also made vague reference to other electoral administration reforms. Now I’ve read the proposed Bill and seen what they are, I’m rather pleased – as they include three things I’ve often raised in previous election law consultations and on this blog.

First, extending the timetable for Parliamentary by-elections. As I’ve written before about this

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  • User AvatarPeter Watson 24th Jan - 9:02pm
    @Katharine Pindar "it was the Lib Dems in Coalition who got free meals adopted nationally" It was the Lib Dems before Coalition who opposed universal...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 24th Jan - 8:56pm
    @Nom de Plume, I agree that protectionist policies are undesirable. However, Germany has been protectionist since WW2. It deliberately kept its currency, the DM when...
  • User AvatarDJ 24th Jan - 8:49pm
    It's really interesting to see a little bit of where the evidence for the new policy has come from and it will also be interesting...
  • User Avatarpaul holmes 24th Jan - 8:43pm
    An excellent initiative Kirsty, combined with what you are doing on teacher effectiveness and Leadership. Also very pleased to see that the mistakes of presentation...
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 24th Jan - 8:43pm
    P.S. Just to thank Nick Cunningham, one of the few positive voices here, thanks, Nick! I was reminded by seeing another comment of yours on...
  • User AvatarGeoff Reid 24th Jan - 8:24pm
    In fairness to Labour (a party which I have spent my life not joining) some 35 years ago it was actually quite difficult to join...