Chwilio Deddfwriaeth

Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013

Schedules

Schedule 5: Transitional provision to do with Part 1

113.Schedule 5 sets out how the move from the old system of electoral registration to the new system of individual electoral registration in Great Britain will operate once sections 1 and 4 and Schedule 1 come into force (referred to in this Schedule as “the commencement date”).

Part 1: Introduction

114.Paragraph 1 stipulates that applications made before the commencement date are to be dealt with under the old system even if the application is determined after that date.

115.Paragraph 4(1) enables the Secretary of State or Lord President of the Council to make an order requiring registration officers to check for evidence as to whether the people on their registers are entitled to remain registered. Subsequent provisions in the Schedule ensure that people whose entries are confirmed under such an order do not have to make a separate application under the new system to remain on the register (unless their details change).

116.Paragraph 4(3) enables the order to authorise data to be shared for this check. For example a person may be authorised to compare entries on the electoral register with other information that has been disclosed. Paragraph 4(3) also provides that an order may state that where a registration officer has confirmed a person’s entitlement they must notify them in a specified manner, and that this notification may be accompanied by and combined with other documents.

117.Paragraph 4(4) provides that where an order authorises or requires the disclosure of information the Secretary of State must consult the Electoral Commission, the Information Commissioner and others and may require the Electoral Commission to produce a report.

118.Paragraph 4(5) states that a registration officer will not be required to confirm that a person who is on the register they maintain is still eligible if that person was on the register because they were carried forward at the final old canvass (that is, they did not respond to the last canvass and were left on the register by virtue of the carry forward provision), if the person has already made a successful new application for registration, or if the person is registered under the special arrangements referred to at paragraph 121 below.

Part 2: Removal of existing registrations by end of the third new canvass

119.Paragraph 5 stipulates that, after the first canvass under the new system (likely to be in late 2014), registration officers must remove from the register each entry that was carried forward after the last canvass carried out under the old system despite not responding to that canvass, unless the elector has made an application under the new system or responded to the first canvass under the new system.

120.Paragraph 6 states that, after the third new canvass (likely to be in late 2016), a registration officer must remove from the register the entry of each person who has not made a successful application for registration under the new system or has not had their entitlement to remain registered confirmed under paragraph 4. It will only be possible for a person to be added to the register after this point if they have made an application under the new system and that application has been successful. (See also paragraph 28 of this Schedule).

121.Paragraph 7 states that the provisions about removal from the register in paragraphs 5 and 6 do not apply to people who are registered under a special registration system (and have been since immediately before the commencement date). This includes those on remand in prison, patients in mental hospitals, those without a fixed address, service personnel, British citizens resident overseas and those registered anonymously for their safety. Parts 5 and 6 of Schedule 5 make separate provision for those people.

Part 3: Encouraging new applications

122.Paragraph 8 states that a registration officer must, within a prescribed period, send an invitation to make a new application for registration to all persons listed on the register who have not made an application under the new system or have not had their entitlement to remain registered confirmed under paragraph 4. An invitation does not have to be sent where the officer has reason to believe that the person is no longer resident at the relevant address.

123.Paragraph 9 relates to the timing of canvasses before and during the transition to the new system. Sub-paragraph (1) enables the Minister to make an order postponing canvasses in advance of the transition to the new system, and requiring canvass forms to be sent out at a particular time. For example, the 2013 canvass could be postponed so that it takes place in the first quarter of 2014.

124.Paragraphs 9(2) and (4) provide that the Minister may make an order postponing the first canvass under the new system (the canvass forms for that canvass are to be sent out at the same time as invitations under paragraph 8), and requiring canvass forms for the second canvass under the new system to be sent out at a specified time.

125.Paragraph 9(6) stipulates that any order to postpone an old or new style canvass must specify the period in which the canvass is to be carried out, and that that period must not end later than the 1 April after it begins.

126.Paragraph 10 provides that registration officers need not send canvass forms for the first new canvass to addresses at which people have been sent individual invitations to register, or have had their entries confirmed under paragraph 4. However registration officers must consider whether to send a canvass form despite there being no requirement to do so.

127.Paragraph 11 stipulates that after the second new canvass under the new system a registration officer must send an invitation to make a new application for registration to all persons who have an entry on the register, but are not yet registered under the new system (whether by making an application under the new system or by having their entry confirmed under paragraph 4). This must be sent when the registration officer receives a returned canvass form in respect of the person’s address or when the officer realises that a canvass form will not be returned for that address, and at the latest at the end of October in the year of the second new canvass. If the registration officer has reason to believe that the person is no longer resident at the relevant address or if that person has made an application under the new system that has not yet been determined, then no invitation need be sent.

128.Paragraph 12 allows further provision to be made about the invitations to be sent to people under paragraphs 8 and 11. For example, regulations could require that a registration officer who sends an individual invitation to an individual under paragraph 8, and chooses not to send a canvass form to that address in 2014, must include additional blank application forms with that invitation, with a request to pass them to any other residents at the address who have not received a personalised invitation.

129.Paragraph 13 provides that a registration officer who invites a person to make a new application under paragraph 8 or 11 may subsequently require the person to make a new application by a specified date, and that if they fail to make an application a registration officer may issue that person with a civil penalty. This is similar to the provision in section 5 and Schedule 3 of this Act.

130.Paragraph 14 provides that regulations under section 7(1) of the European Parliamentary Elections Act 2002 may include provision for poll cards for the 2014 European Parliamentary elections to include information alerting electors to the upcoming change in the registration system.

131.Paragraph 15 states that the reference to a person who has an entry on the register does not apply to people who are registered under a special registration system. The system for those people is set out in Parts 5 and 6 of this Schedule.

Part 4: Absent voting

132.Paragraph 16 provides that a person who makes an application to vote by post or proxy after the commencement date will only be successful if they are registered under the new system (whether by making an application under the new system or by having their entry confirmed under paragraph 4). This paragraph does not apply to people who are subject to special registration systems.

133.Paragraph 17 states that a person’s existing ability to vote by post or proxy will expire following the first new canvass if they are not registered under the new system (whether by making an application under the new system or by having their entry confirmed under paragraph 4). The registration officer must notify the individual, and regulations may require the registration officer to take other steps (for example providing the individual with the forms needed to make an application to regain an absent vote). Again, this paragraph does not apply to people who are subject to special registration systems.

134.Paragraphs 18 and 19 state that, after the first canvass under the new system, proxies will only be regarded as registered in a register in Great Britain (and so eligible to be a proxy following the change made by section 3) if they are registered under the new system (whether by making an application under the new system or by having their entry confirmed under paragraph 4). Existing registrations resulting from applications made under the old system are therefore not sufficient. This does not apply to proxies who are registered in a register in Northern Ireland, where there is already a system of individual electoral registration and registration under that system is sufficient for the purpose of the change made by section 3.

135.Paragraph 19 also stipulates that if an existing proxy appointment ceases to be in force at that point because the proxy has not made a successful application to register under the new system, the registration officer must inform the proxy and the elector for whom they were appointed, and regulations may require the registration officer to take other steps (for example providing the individuals with the forms needed for the proxy to be reappointed). Again, this paragraph does not apply to people who are subject to special registration systems.

Part 5: Persons with existing registrations by virtue of declarations etc

136.Paragraph 20 states that Part 5 applies to people who are (and have been since immediately before the commencement date) registered as a result of a declaration of local connection, a service declaration or an overseas elector’s declaration, and people registered anonymously.

137.Paragraph 21 states that on the first occasion 3 months after the commencement date on which a person’s entry comes up for renewal they will only remain registered if they make a successful application for registration under the new system. Until that point they may remain registered under the old system.

138.Paragraph 22 has the effect that an application for an absent vote made by the person on or after the commencement date may be granted even though at that point the person has not made a successful application to be registered under the new system.

139.Paragraph 23 provides that such a person’s proxy need not have made a successful application for registration under the new system until the first occasion on which the relevant person makes a successful new application to register.

Part 6: Persons with existing registrations by virtue of section 7(2) or 7A(2) of the Representation of the People Act 1983

140.Paragraph 24 states that Part 6 applies to people who are registered on the basis of residence in mental hospitals or a place where they are held on remand, and have been registered on that basis since immediately before the commencement date.

141.Paragraph 25 has the effect that on the first occasion on or after 3 months after the commencement date on which a person’s entry comes up for renewal they will only remain registered if they make a successful application for registration under the new system. Until that point they may remain registered under the old system.

142.Paragraph 26 has the effect that an application for an absent vote made by the person on or after the commencement date may be granted even though at that point the person has not made a successful application to be registered under the new system.

143.Paragraph 27 states that such a person’s proxy need not have made a successful application for registration under the new system until the first occasion on which the relevant person makes a successful new application to register.

144.Paragraph 28 enables an order to be made by the Secretary of State or Lord President of the Council to remove certain carried-forward entries on publication of a register following the second new canvass (expected to be in December 2015) instead of publication following the third new canvass (expected to be in December 2016), as provided for in paragraph 6 of this Schedule. Such an order is subject to the negative resolution procedure.

Part 7: Supplementary

145.Paragraph 29 empowers the Minister, by order, to make provisions which are supplementary or incidental to this Schedule.

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