This week the government has put three new changes to election law out for consultation:
- Ending the automatic postponement of parish and community council elections in England and Wales that currently occurs when they fall on the same day as ordinary local government elections and either a Parliamentary or European Parliamentary general election.
- Mandate 100% checking of the personal identifiers for postal votes at elections (comparing the signatures and date of birth given when a postal vote is cast against the originals on file from the postal vote application). Although 100% is often recommended and done, the law only requires a minimum of 20% to be checked at the moment.
- Extending the emergency proxy voting facility to make it available for people called away on business or military service unexpectedly, and at short notice, before an election. Currently only voters who fall ill once the normal deadline for proxy applications has passed are able to appoint an “emergency” proxy up to 5 pm on polling day.
They join a set of other proposed changes, draft proposals for which are already out for consideration, including extending the timetable for Parliamentary elections from 17 to 25 days.