Election law: what’s new this May?

Courtesy of the Electoral Commission comes a reminder of the changes to electoral law coming into force for May’s elections.

Note in particular the second point, a welcome and sensible move to reduce postal vote fraud, which I remember pushing for when I used to be a member of the Electoral Commission’s Political Parties Panel.

  • the requirement for EROs to publish two interim election notices of alteration in addition to the final election notice of alteration
  • the requirement to check 100% of absent vote identifiers
  • provisions that mean that for the first time at any poll in England and Wales and for the first time at a European Parliamentary election in Scotland, voters who at 10pm are in the polling station, or in a queue outside the polling station, for the purpose of voting, may apply for a ballot paper
  • provisions allowing postal ballot packs to be issued as soon as practicable (which in practice means at any time after the party and individual candidate details to be printed on the ballot paper have been confirmed, i.e. after the deadline for withdrawals)
  • the extension of the emergency proxy provisions to people whose occupation, service or employment means they cannot go to the polling station in person
  • provisions allowing police community support officers to attend polling stations in England and Wales

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