Good news on quicker supply of the electoral register

A regular frustration for campaign organisers across political parties is how slow some local councils are in providing data that they are legally obliged to supply, but for which the law is silent on how quickly.

Good news then that the Electoral Commission is looking to push councils to be better at providing electoral register data:

As set out in our report on ERO performance in 2012, we now want to consult with both EROs and recipients of the register to clarify what an acceptable timeframe for supply is, which will then form the basis against which assessments of performance against this standard will be made.

With this in mind, we propose:

  • On publication of the register or on receipt of a valid request, EROs are to supply copies of the register and absent voter lists to those entitled to receive them within 7 calendar days.

Please note that this definition does not apply to the supply of the register during an election period, where provision of the register to a candidate making a valid request should be made as soon as possible.

That’s a sensible suggestion – especially if it is followed up with a similar one for provision of postal vote information.

Meanwhile, the BBC also reports:

Election result announcers are being urged to put in a more consistent performance, with some being dubbed “inaudible”.

The Electoral Commission found returning officers’ overall provision of information was “patchy”, while there were “significant variations” in the time taken to count votes…

The Electoral Commission’s survey found that 88% of people were satisfied with the process for registering to vote, while 97% of those who voted at polling stations and 96% of those who cast postal ballots were satisfied with the service provided.

Some 140 “potential cases of alleged electoral fraud” were reported, although the Electoral Commission found no “major problems” with administration.

But the South Shields by-election, which was announced only the minimum 13 working days before it was held, had “placed pressures on the administrative process”, contributing to a “significant shortening of the nomination period for candidates”.


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