B878 - Electoral Registration Bill 2015 Watch

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Birchington
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B878 - Electoral Registration Bill 2015, The Hon. Barnetlad MP
Electoral Registration Bill 2015


A Bill to reintroduce household electoral registration

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen's most excellent Majesty, in accordance with the provisions of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-

1. Definitions
a. ‘Household’ under this Bill shall be residents of a dwelling recognised by the Royal Mail as having one address.
b. ‘Close relation’ shall refer to someone who is a child, parent, legal guardian, or grandparent of at least one other member of the household, or who is married to another member of the household.

2. Household registration
a. The registration of persons eligible to vote shall be by Household, unless one of the exemptions in section 3 applies.
b. One form shall be completed by the oldest eligible voter in the Household, as required by the Local Authority in the area responsible for electoral registration, unless an exemption in section 3 applies. In the event of an exemption in section 3 applying, each person of voting age must complete a form individually to register.
c. Subject to an Electoral Commission approved secure method, registration may be completed online or in an alternative electronic method. The option to complete a paper form shall be always provided.
d. Any person required by this Bill to complete a registration form who fails to do so, may upon conviction be subject to a fine of up to £200.

3. Exemptions
The requirements of section 2 shall not apply if one or more of the following apply:
a. There are more than four persons of voting age resident in the Household, unless all are Close Relations of the oldest person in the Household, as defined by section 1b of this Bill.
b. There are no UK subjects or passport holders of other member states of the European Union resident in the Household.
c. The oldest member of the Household is incapacitated by reason of physical or mental ill-health. If this applies, the next oldest person shall be responsible for meeting the requirements of the Bill.
d. The Electoral Commission, having reasonable grounds, suspends the process for a whole Local Authority area. Such suspension must not be for a period of one year.
e. An exemption proposed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and supported by a two-thirds majority of the House of Commons.

4. Title and Implementation of the Bill
a. This Bill will be known as the Electoral Registration Act.
b. Shall take effect from 1st April 2016.
c. Shall apply to the whole of the United Kingdom


Notes

It is expected by the author of this Bill that the requirement for individual registration introduced under previously passed laws will disadvantage some age groups and areas more than others. The change from household to individual registration followed from allegations in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and in some other places of persons being registered who were not resident, and then postal voting being completed for these non-resident persons.

It is expected by the author of this Bill that the number of persons registered to vote will increase, should this Bill be passed into law. For large numbers resident in the same dwelling, the Close Relation definition allows for local authorities to check the validity of such persons, given that their births or marriages will have been registered, or make other checks.

The two-thirds majority provision for the suspension of the provisions of the Bill (section 3e) is designed for it to be a cross-party matter. It also means that the Electoral Commission’s power of suspension can be limited.
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cranbrook_aspie
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Personally I can't see why you can't just present ID and a utility bill to prove you live in the constituency at the polling station. But this is a massive improvement on current electoral registration laws so aye.

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Saracen's Fez
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Not really bothered either way.
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Aph
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What does "Such suspension must not be for a period of one year." mean? I think it should say more then a year.

Also why the oldest person?

Lastly section 3 subsection 2 should include commonwealth citizens as commonwealth citizens can vote in teh uk.
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Jammy Duel
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Don't really see the point

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Josb
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This system makes it very difficult for students to vote.

I'd prefer to just present an ID. Then you would be registered in a central record that checks you haven't already voted elsewhere.
This file would be destroyed soon after the election.
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TheDefiniteArticle
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I'd suggest an amendment to make any adult member of the household able to register. Past that, aye.
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GaelicBolshevik
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Abstain.


I just don't see the point tbh.
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barnetlad
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I recognise that there will need to be a second reading of the Bill- my thoughts on some of the comments so far are below.

(Original post by cranbrook_aspie)
Personally I can't see why you can't just present ID and a utility bill to prove you live in the constituency at the polling station. But this is a massive improvement on current electoral registration laws so aye.

There is a need to know numbers for when boundaries are re-drawn. There are also multiple polling stations so it avoids the possibility of voting twice.

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(Original post by Aph)
What does "Such suspension must not be for a period of one year." mean? I think it should say more then a year.

Also why the oldest person?

The oldest person was selected instead of the head of the household- councils tend to assume that is a man. Someone in the household should be accountable as was the case before the law was changed.

Lastly section 3 subsection 2 should include commonwealth citizens as commonwealth citizens can vote in teh uk.
I had thought of Irish people with the EU requirement, but has forgotten the Commonwealth- thanks for the reminder.

(Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
I'd suggest an amendment to make any adult member of the household able to register. Past that, aye.
Good point which I will think how to address for the second reading.
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thehistorybore
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(Original post by DMcGovern)
Abstain.


I just don't see the point tbh.
I'm with him.
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Wellzi
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As I don't see the reasoning or benefits behind it, I should default to my standard response: Nay
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Hazzer1998
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Nay Its pointless
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GaelicBolshevik
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(Original post by thehistorybore)
I'm with him.
And I'm with him.




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emiloujess
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Nay
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cBay
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Whilst the government made a real mess in switching to electronic individual registration, it was a necessary change that had to happen sooner or later. I see no reason whatsoever to go backwards. Nay.
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RayApparently
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I read the comments before the actual bill so perhaps its skewed my understanding - I don't see what this actually achieves? Why would we implement it?
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barnetlad
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(Original post by RayApparently)
I read the comments before the actual bill so perhaps its skewed my understanding - I don't see what this actually achieves? Why would we implement it?
More people will be registered, and therefore more likely that people will vote. Those unregistered under individual registration are more likely to be Labour, Green or Lib Dem voters in my opinion, and especially less likely to be Tory voters.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by barnetlad)
More people will be registered, and therefore more likely that people will vote. Those unregistered under individual registration are more likely to be Labour, Green or Lib Dem voters in my opinion, and especially less likely to be Tory voters.
The unregistered are most likely to be, guess what: non voters
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JeremyOU
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actually under this bill, I could not register to vote?
NAY.
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United1892
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This Bill is very meh.
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