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Senedd and Elections (Wales) Act 2020

Section 20 – Service declarations

52.Section 20(2) amends section 14 of the 1983 Act to allow certain individuals under the age of 18 to hold a service qualification for the purposes of the 1983 Act. The individual under 18 must have a parent or guardian who has a service qualification and must be residing in a particular place in order to be with that parent or guardian. The effect of the amendment is that it extends for the purposes of Senedd elections the categories of persons who can make a service declaration. By being permitted to make a service declaration, eligible persons under the age of 18 may register to vote by reference to their home address (or previous address) in Wales, rather than the address to which their parent or guardian is posted on service (generally military service).

53.Section 20(3) amends section 15 of the 1983 Act by making provision for the cessation of the service qualification under section 14(1A) when the person who has made the service declaration reaches the age of 18. A service declaration made under section 14(1A) ceases to have effect when the person who made the declaration reaches the age of 18 and the person’s entitlement to remain registered in the register of local government electors also ceases. When the entitlement to be registered ceases, the person’s details must be removed from the register.

54.As with declarations of local connection, section 20(3)(b) clarifies that the provisions on service declarations inserted by this Act are only relevant for the purposes of a person’s registration as a local government elector in Wales and do not have effect for the purposes of UK parliamentary elections.

55.Section 20(4) amends section 16 of the 1983 Act which makes provision about the contents of a service declaration.

56.The amendment provides that in relation to the registration of local government electors in Wales, a service declaration made by a person under the age of 18 as set out in section 14(1A) does not need to be attested.

57.Section 20(5)(a) amends section 17 of the 1983 Act to add reference to qualifying foreign citizens.

58.Section 20(5 (b)) makes a consequential change to section 17 of the 1983 Act so that the general provision about the continuing effect of a service declaration is made subject to section 15(3A) of the 1983 Act.

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