Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013

The Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 (c. 6) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom[2] which amended electoral law in the United Kingdom. It introduced Individual Electoral Registration (IER).

The Westminster government had introduced IER to Northern Ireland in 2002 in the Electoral Fraud (Northern Ireland) Act 2002, but England, Wales and Scotland continued to use a system of householder registration.[3]

With the Sixth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies in some doubt following the collapse of the House of Lords Reform Bill 2012, there had been some criticism of the money spent on boundary reviews whilst also favouring introducing IER.[4] The Electoral Commission suggested that there could be a severe drop in turnout as a result.[5] Section 6 of the Bill effectively postpones the Sixth Periodic Review until "not before 1 October 2018".[6]

There are three Parts to the Bill.

Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013
Citation6
Introduced byNick Clegg[1]
Territorial extentUnited Kingdom
Dates
Royal assent31 January 2013
Status: Current legislation
History of passage through Parliament
Text of statute as originally enacted

Part 1: Individual Electoral Registration in Great Britain

This part has twelve sections, which introduce and set the administrative structure for IER. The Act amends the Representation of the People Act 1983 and the Representation of the People Act 2000.

Alterations and improvements to the annual canvass of voters are introduced in this Part.

Part 2: Administration and Conduct of Elections etc

This part alters the timetable of parliamentary elections, modifies the timetable for civil parish elections in England and Wales, changes the regulations around the register of electors in specific circumstances, and alters the 1983 Representation of the People Act with regard to polling districts.

Section 18 introduces changes to current regulations relating to the 'inadequate performance' of returning officers.

Section 19 modifies the rules on joint ticket candidatures at elections, permitting the use of an emblem of one of the parties or a combined emblem on ballot papers.

Section 22 repeals from the provisions of the Electoral Administration Act 2006 for the setting up of a Coordinated Online Register of Electors.

Part 3: Final Provisions

This section deals with the extent and name of the Bill.

Proposed amendments

Committee stage discussion of the Bill commenced on Monday 29 November.[7] Amongst proposed amendments put forward for debate is a new clause allowing for weekend voting, put forward by Lord Rennard and Lord Tyler.

References

  1. ^ "House of Commons Hansard for 10 May 2012". Hansard. Parliament of the United Kingdom. 10 May 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  2. ^ Text of proposed Bill Parliament.uk
  3. ^ BBC News, 15 September 2010, Individual voter ID plan brought forward to 2014
  4. ^ UK Government 'wastes' £1m on plans to change Parliamentary boundaries Wales News
  5. ^ Trouble brewing in the Lords BBC News
  6. ^ Peers vote to delay boundary review PoliticsHome
  7. ^ The Electoral Registration and Administration Bill begins committee stage, line by line scrutiny of the bill, in the House of Lords today (Monday 29 October) Parliament.uk

External links

Electoral registration in the United Kingdom

Electors must be on the electoral register in order to vote in elections and referendums in the UK. Electoral registration officers within local authorities have a duty to compile and maintain accurate electoral registers.

Registration was introduced for all constituencies as a result of the Reform Act 1832, which took effect for the election of the same year. Since 1832, only those registered to vote can do so, and the government invariably runs nonpartisan get out the vote campaigns for each election to expand the franchise as much as possible.

Individual Electoral Registration

Individual Electoral Registration (IER) is the voter registration system which took effect from 10 June 2014 in England and Wales and from 19 September 2014 in Scotland. Under the previous system, the "head of the household" was required to register all residents of the household who are eligible. Under the new system individuals are required to register themselves, as well as provide their National Insurance number and date of birth on the application form so that their identity can be verified.

Next United Kingdom general election

The next general election in the United Kingdom is scheduled to be held on 5 May 2022 under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, i.e five years after the previous general election in 2017. The election may be held at an earlier date in the event of an early election motion being passed by a super-majority of two-thirds in the House of Commons, or a vote of no confidence in the government which is not followed by a vote of confidence within 14 days.

Number of Westminster MPs

Over the history of the House of Commons, the number of members of parliament (MPs) has varied for assorted reasons, with increases in recent years due to increases in the population of the United Kingdom. There are currently 650 constituencies, each sending one MP to the House of Commons, corresponding to approximately one for every 92,000 people, or one for every 68,000 parliamentary electors.

While the Conservative – Liberal Democrat coalition governing after the 2010 general election had initially planned to reduce the number of MPs and constituencies to 600 during its term of office, Parliament voted in January 2013 to delay the boundary review this change would require. Section 6 of the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 requires that the next review report by October 2018.

Police burgh

A police burgh was a Scottish burgh which had adopted a “police system” for governing the town. They existed from 1833 to 1975.

Reform Act

In the United Kingdom, Reform Act is legislation concerning electoral matters. It is most commonly used for laws passed in the 19th century and early 20th century to enfranchise new groups of voters and to redistribute seats in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act 1928

The Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act 1928 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. This act expanded on the Representation of the People Act 1918 which had given some women the vote in Parliamentary elections for the first time after World War I. The 1928 Act widened suffrage by giving women electoral equality with men. It gave the vote to all women over 21 years old, regardless of property ownership. Prior to this act only women over 30 who met minimum property qualifications could vote. Similar provision was made for the Parliament of Northern Ireland by the Representation of the People Act (Northern Ireland) 1928 (18 & 19 Geo V, Ch 24 (NI)).

This statute is sometimes known informally as the Fifth Reform Act or the Equal Suffrage Act.

Representation of the People (Ireland) Act 1868

The Representation of the People (Ireland) Act 1868 (31 & 32 Vict. c. 49) was an Act of Parliament in the United Kingdom.

It did not alter the overall distribution of parliamentary seats in Ireland, but did alter their boundaries, including making the electoral constituency of a borough be the same as its municipal boundaries.

Representation of the People (Scotland) Act 1868

The Representation of the People (Scotland) Act 1868 (31 & 32 Vict. c. 48) was an Act of Parliament in the United Kingdom. It carried on from the Representation of the People Act 1867, and created seven additional Scottish seats in the House of Commons at the expense of seven English borough constituencies, which were disenfranchised.

Two University constituencies were created; Edinburgh and St Andrews Universities and Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities. These each returned one member to Parliament. Two burgh constituencies received an additional member; these were Glasgow (raised to 3 members) and Dundee (raised to 2). A third burgh constituency, Hawick Burghs, was newly created, receiving one member. Three county constituencies each received one additional member, and were split in half accordingly; these were Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Aberdeenshire.

This totaled eight new seats, and accordingly the county constituencies of Selkirkshire and Peeblesshire were merged to form Peebles and Selkirk, returning one member, for a net increase of seven seats.

This was offset by the disenfranchisement of Arundel, Ashburton, Dartmouth, Honiton, Lyme Regis, Thetford and Wells, all English borough constituencies, leaving the overall number of seats in the House unchanged.

Representation of the People Act 1884

In the United Kingdom, the Representation of the People Act 1884 (48 & 49 Vict. c. 3, also known informally as the Third Reform Act) and the Redistribution Act of the following year were laws which further extended the suffrage in the UK after the Derby Government's Reform Act 1867. Taken together, these measures extended the same voting qualifications as existed in the towns to the countryside, and essentially established the modern one member constituency as the normal pattern for Parliamentary representation.

The Act extended the 1867 concessions from the boroughs to the countryside. All men paying an annual rental of £10 and all those holding land valued at £10 now had the vote. The British electorate now totalled over 5,500,000. The bill was so objectionable to the House of Lords that Gladstone was forced to redistribute the seats, in another bill: the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 redistributed constituencies, giving more representation to urban areas (especially London).

The 1884 Reform Act did not establish universal suffrage: although the size of the electorate was increased considerably, all women and 40% of adult males were still without the vote. Male suffrage varied throughout the kingdom, too: in England and Wales, two in three adult males had the vote; in Scotland, three in five did; but in Ireland, the figure was only one in two.

Representation of the People Act 1918

The Representation of the People Act 1918 was an Act of Parliament passed to reform the electoral system in Great Britain and Ireland. It is sometimes known as the Fourth Reform Act. The Act extended the franchise in parliamentary elections, also known as the right to vote, to men aged 21 and over, whether or not they owned property, and to women aged 30 and over who resided in the constituency or occupied land or premises with a rateable value above £5, or whose husbands did. At the same time, it extended the local government franchise to include women aged 21 and over on the same terms as men.As a result of the Act, the male electorate was extended by 5.2 million to 12.9 million. The female electorate was 8.5 million. The Act also created new electoral arrangements, including making residence in a specific constituency the basis of the right to vote, institutionalising the first-past-the-post method of election, and rejecting proportional representation.It was not until the Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act 1928 that women gained electoral equality. The 1928 Act gave the vote to women at age 21 regardless of any property qualification, which added another five million women to the electorate.

Representation of the People Act 1948

The Representation of the People Act 1948 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that altered the law relating to parliamentary and local elections. It is noteworthy for abolishing plural voting, including by the abolition of the twelve separate university constituencies; and for again increasing the number of members overall, in this case to 613.

Representation of the People Act 1949

The Representation of the People Act 1949 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The Act consolidated previous electoral law, but also made some changes to administration.

The principal change was to provide for the conduct of future reviews of Parliamentary boundaries by the permanent Parliamentary Boundary Commissions. The Act also abolished the terms 'Parliamentary Borough' and 'Parliamentary County', renaming them 'Borough constituency' and 'County constituency', abolished the university constituencies, and removed a requirement that the City of London form its own constituency. The Boundary Commissions were instructed to review all boundaries within 3-7 years from the Act coming into force, and thereafter to review the boundaries periodically.

In addition the Act made some changes to the franchise, removing the remaining provisions allowing plural voting by people who owned business premises. From this point forward, there was a single electoral register for both local government and Parliamentary elections and each voter was only allowed to vote once in any general election even if they happened to be registered in more than one address for local elections.

Representation of the People Act 1969

The Representation of the People Act 1969 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. This statute is sometimes known as the Sixth Reform Act. The 1970 United Kingdom general election (18 June) is the first in which this Act had effect.

Representation of the People Act 1981

The Representation of the People Act 1981 (c. 34) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

It provides:

The Act was passed following the election to the Westminster Parliament of a hunger-striker, Bobby Sands, in the April 1981 Fermanagh and South Tyrone by-election, while he was serving a long term of imprisonment.

As a result of the Act, following the death of Bobby Sands, other prisoners on hunger strike were unable to stand in the second 1981 by-election in Fermanagh and South Tyrone.

Representation of the People Act 1985

The Representation of the People Act 1985 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom concerning British electoral law.

The Act allows British citizens who are resident outside the United Kingdom to qualify as "overseas electors" in the constituency for which they were last registered for a period of five years after they have left (this was subsequently changed to 20 years and is now 15 years). Expatriate electors were able to register as overseas electors at British consular posts, starting in the summer of 1986. When registered, expatriate voters were eligible to vote by proxy at any Parliamentary or European Parliament elections which were held after the 1987 register came into force on 16 February, 1987. It was estimated that half-a-million British expatriates were enfranchised by the Act.The Act also made British people abroad on holiday eligible to vote by postal ballot or by proxy, as well as those who were not reasonably expected to be able to by being physically present at the polling station.

The Act modified the rules concerning deposits in Parliamentary elections. Previously the deposit had been £150 and was under this Act raised to £500. The percentage of votes needed to retain the deposit was lowered from 12½% to 5%. The deposit for election to the European Parliament were raised from £600 to £700.

Representation of the People Act 1989

The Representation of the People Act 1989 (c. 28) is an act by the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

It extended the time that a British citizen could have lived abroad and still vote from 5 years to 20 years, and extended this right to people who were too young to vote at the time of leaving Britain.

Representation of the People Act 1990

The Representation of the People Act 1990 (RPA 1990) added a minor amendment to previous Acts. The act allowed a person no longer resident at their qualifying address or at any other address in the same area to be eligible for an absentee vote for an indefinite period at Parliamentary elections in the United Kingdom and local government elections in Great Britain. Those who still lived in the same parliamentary constituency in Greater London or the former metropolitan counties, the same electoral division of a non-metropolitan English county, Scotland or Wales, or the same ward in Northern Ireland.

Representation of the People Act 2000

The Representation of the People Act 2000 (c.2) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that changed the British electoral process in the following ways, entailing minor amendments to the Representation of the People Act 1983:

It removed most restrictions on postal voting and proxy voting.

It allows psychiatric hospitals to be used as a registration address.

It requires additional assistance for disabled voters, particularly visually impaired voters.

It made provision for new regulations governing the access, sale and supply of electoral registers.

Electoral reform in the United Kingdom
Reform Acts
Representation of
the People Acts
Other related Acts
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