UK electoral law is fragmented, convoluted and causing errors

So writes Toby James:

There has recently been a rise in concerns about the quality of elections in the UK and electoral administrators have commonly been blamed for making administrative errors or not planning properly for elections.

The causes of legal fragmentation and complexity are partly devolution. This has created many overlapping frameworks of electoral law, more frequent elections and more combined elections and the lack of consolidation. But it is also that electoral law needs to be consolidated periodically and this has not been done since the 1980s.

Read his piece in full to find out what is being done about that.

* Mark Pack has written 101 Ways To Win An Election and produces a monthly newsletter about the Liberal Democrats.

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One Comment

  • Having worked with the returning officer at recent Local and General elections as DNO, I became aware of the confusing and convoluted laws. Clearly an electoral law consolidation act is very necessary.

    Personally I would go back to having postal votes only for those who need it, nothing is better than going to the local hall to put your mark on a paper, it also minimises personation and fraud.
    I would also introduce a prize draw for those who do go to vote by putting poll cards into a tombola at the polling station. I would also permit the polling day to become a community day where local organisations could have a display of what they do and get people involved.
    Crucially I would insist on there being only one election on any one day, Local/National/Euro/Referenda are each distinct and different, requiring voters to have different considerations. The extra cost is worth it for the betterment of the democratic process.

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