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Electoral Administration Act 2006 (c. 22)

(The document as of February, 2008)

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Electoral Administration Act 2006

2006 CHAPTER 22

CONTENTS

Content
  1. Part 1

    Co-ordinated on-line record of electors

    1. 1. CORE schemes: establishment

    2. 2. Use of CORE information

    3. 3. CORE scheme grants

    4. 4. Electoral Commission

    5. 5. CORE schemes: supplemental

    6. 6. CORE schemes: procedure

    7. 7. Amendment of the 1983 Act

    8. 8. Interpretation of Part

  2. Part 2

    Registration of electors

    1. 9. Registration officers: duty to take necessary steps

    2. 10. Anonymous registration

    3. 11. Alterations of registers: pending elections

    4. 12. Determinations by registration officers and objections

    5. 13. Registration of voters with service qualification

  3. Part 3

    Anti-fraud measures

    1. 14. Absent voting: personal identifiers

    2. 15. Offences as to false registration information

  4. Part 4

    Review of polling places

    1. 16. Review of polling places

  5. Part 5

    Standing for election

    1. 17. Minimum age

    2. 18. Certain Commonwealth citizens

    3. 19. Nomination procedures

  6. Part 6

    Conduct of elections etc.

    1. Election timetables

      1. 20. Omission of references to Maundy Thursday

    2. Nomination

      1. 21. Use of candidates' common names

      2. 22. Candidate not to stand in more than one constituency

      3. 23. Offences as to false statements in nomination papers

    3. Death of candidate

      1. 24. Death of candidate

    4. Election expenses

      1. 25. Amount of expenses which may be incurred by third party

      2. 26. Return as to election expenses

      3. 27. Meaning of election expenses for purposes of the 1983 Act

    5. Observation of elections etc.

      1. 28. Discretion to report on certain elections

      2. 29. Observation of proceedings and working practices

    6. Ballot papers

      1. 30. Ballot paper design

      2. 31. Replacement of counterfoils

      3. 32. Photographs on ballot papers: piloting

      4. 33. Evaluation of pilots under section 32

      5. 34. Revision of electoral provisions in the light of pilot schemes

    7. Voting in person

      1. 35. Certain voters entitled to vote in person

    8. Certain electoral documents

      1. 36. Translations etc. of certain documents

      2. 37. Documents relating to postal voting

    9. Circumstances in which votes may be tendered

      1. 38. Tendered votes

    10. Offences related to voting

      1. 39. Undue influence

      2. 40. Offences relating to applications for postal and proxy votes

    11. Access to election documents

      1. 41. Control of documents after parliamentary election

      2. 42. Access to other election documents

      3. 43. Access to other election documents: contravention of regulations

      4. 44. Access to other election documents: supplementary

      5. 45. Marked postal voters list

    12. Correction of procedural errors

      1. 46. Returning officers: correction of procedural errors

    13. Miscellaneous amendments

      1. 47. Miscellaneous amendments of the 1983 Act

  7. Part 7

    Regulation of parties

    1. Registration of parties

      1. 48. Registered names of parties

      2. 49. Political party descriptions

      3. 50. Confirmation of registered particulars

      4. 51. Removal from register of registered parties

      5. 52. Time for registration of parties fielding candidates

    2. Accounting requirements

      1. 53. Requirements as to statements of account

      2. 54. Time for delivery of unaudited accounts to Electoral Commission

    3. Control of donations

      1. 55. Policy development grants to be donations

      2. 56. Exemption from requirement to prepare quarterly donation reports

      3. 57. Repeal of section 68 of the 2000 Act

      4. 58. Register of donations to include details of nature of donation

      5. 59. Reporting donations to holders of certain elective offices

      6. 60. Northern Ireland: disapplication of Part 4 of the 2000 Act

    4. Regulation of loans etc.

      1. 61. Regulation of loans etc.

      2. 62. Regulation of loans: power to make provision for candidates, third parties and referendums

      3. 63. Regulation of loans etc: Northern Ireland

    5. Campaign expenditure

      1. 64. Campaign expenditure: standing for more than one party

      2. 65. Time limit for claims in respect of campaign expenditure

    6. Referendum and election material

      1. 66. Details to appear on referendum and election material

  8. Part 8

    Miscellaneous

    1. Election services

      1. 67. Performance of local authorities in relation to elections etc.

      2. 68. Funding of services and expenses of returning officers

    2. Encouraging electoral participation

      1. 69. Encouraging electoral participation

    3. Criminal proceedings

      1. 70. Time limit for prosecutions

      2. 71. Restriction on powers of arrest by persons other than constables

    4. Pre-consolidation amendments

      1. 72. Pre-consolidation amendments

    5. Legal incapacity to vote

      1. 73. Abolition of common law incapacity: mental state

  9. Part 9

    General

    1. 74. Miscellaneous amendments and repeals

    2. 75. Financial provision

    3. 76. Interpretation

    4. 77. Commencement

    5. 78. Extent

    6. 79. Short title

    1. Schedule 1

      Amendments

      1. Part 1

        Anonymous registration

      2. Part 2

        Alteration of registers: pending elections

      3. Part 3

        Standing for election

      4. Part 4

        Omission of references to Maundy Thursday

      5. Part 5

        Conduct of elections

      6. Part 6

        Control of loans etc. to individuals and members associations

      7. Part 7

        Miscellaneous

    2. Schedule 2

      Repeals

An Act to make provision in relation to the registration of electors and the keeping of electoral registration information; standing for election; the administration and conduct of elections and referendums; and the regulation of political parties.

[11th July 2006]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:--



Part 1 Co-ordinated on-line record of electors

1 CORE schemes: establishment

(1) The Secretary of State may by order make provision for the establishment of one or more schemes (CORE schemes) in connection with the keeping and use of specified electoral registration information by a person designated by a scheme (the CORE keeper).

(2) The electoral registration officer (ERO) who acts for an area specified in a scheme must provide the CORE keeper with the specified electoral registration information relating to the area.

(3) A scheme must require the ERO--

(a) to provide the CORE keeper with the information, and

(b) to update the information,

at such times and in such manner as is provided for by the scheme.

(4) In particular, a scheme may require the ERO to provide the information and update it in a specified electronic form.

(5) The CORE keeper must keep the information in such form and by such means as is specified by or under the scheme.

(6) In particular, a scheme may--

(a) require the CORE keeper to maintain the information in a specified electronic form;

(b) specify how other information required (by or under any enactment) to be kept in connection with the information is to be recorded and stored in that form.

(7) The area for which an ERO acts must not be specified in more than one scheme at the same time.

(8) The Secretary of State may by order vary a scheme--

(a) by specifying a new area;

(b) by removing the specification of an area;

(c) in such other respects as he thinks appropriate.

(9) The Secretary of State may by order terminate a CORE scheme and an order under this subsection may make such provision as the Secretary of State thinks necessary or expedient in connection with the termination of the scheme.

(10) The person designated as a CORE keeper must be a public authority.

(11) Specified electoral registration information is a copy of such of the following information as is specified in the CORE scheme--

(a) the register of electors for any election;

(b) any list or other record relating to such a register which the ERO is required or authorised to keep under or by virtue of any enactment;

(c) any other information relating to a person who has an entry on such a register which is required for electoral purposes or in connection with jury service;

(d) such other information as the Secretary of State specifies being information which he thinks is necessary or expedient to facilitate the effective operation of the scheme.

2 Use of CORE information

(1) A CORE scheme may authorise or require a CORE keeper to take such steps as are specified in the scheme in relation to information kept by him in pursuance of the scheme.

(2) Regulations under--

(a) section 53(4) of the 1983 Act,

(b) paragraphs 10A to 11A of Schedule 2 to that Act, and

(c) paragraph 13 of that Schedule, so far as relating to paragraphs 10A to 11A,

have effect in relation to a CORE keeper and any information kept by him in pursuance of a CORE scheme as they have effect in relation to an ERO and any registers he is required to maintain under that Act.

(3) A CORE scheme may make such modifications of the regulations mentioned in subsection (2) in their application to a CORE keeper or the information kept by him as the Secretary of State thinks appropriate.

(4) Section 42 applies to a CORE keeper as if--

(a) he were a relevant officer (within the meaning of section 44), and

(b) the information kept by him which consists in copies of relevant election documents (within the meaning of that section) were documents relating to an election which he is required by or under any enactment to retain for any period.

(5) The CORE keeper must, in accordance with the scheme, inform an ERO if he thinks that any of the circumstances mentioned in subsection (6) have arisen in in relation to--

(a) a person who is registered in respect of an address on a register which the ERO is required to maintain, or

(b) an address in relation to which there is an entry on such a register.

(6) These are the circumstances--

(a) a person who is registered in respect of an address on a register which the ERO is required to maintain is also registered on a register in respect of another address (whether on the same or a different register);

(b) more than such number of postal votes as is specified in the scheme is requested for the same redirection address;

(c) the same person acts as proxy for more than two electors;

(d) a person votes more than once (other than as proxy) at the same election.

(7) The CORE keeper--

(a) must provide the ERO with other information of such description as is specified in the scheme relating to a person mentioned in subsection (5)(a);

(b) may provide the ERO with such other information relating to the person as he thinks is relevant to the exercise by the ERO of his functions.

(8) If a CORE scheme makes provision which allows an elector to have access to information relating to him which is kept by the CORE keeper, the scheme must also make provision to enable the elector to request any changes to the information.

(9) The CORE keeper must pass any such request to every ERO whose register he thinks may fall to be altered in consequence of the request.

(10) A CORE scheme--

(a) must not permit an elector to request a change to information relating to any other elector, but

(b) may permit an elector who is resident at the same address as another elector to confirm for the purposes of an annual canvass under section 10 of the 1983 Act that the information relating to the other elector is correct.

(11) Except for the purposes of subsections (5) to (7) and (9), a CORE scheme must not authorise an ERO to have access to information provided to the CORE keeper by a different ERO.

(12) In subsections (5) to (7) and (9) an ERO includes an ERO who acts for an area which is not specified in a CORE scheme.

(13) A redirection address is an address in respect of which the person is not registered.

3 CORE scheme grants

(1) The Secretary of State may pay grant to a CORE keeper towards expenditure incurred or to be incurred by him in connection with the exercise of his functions under the scheme.

(2) The amount of such a grant and the manner of its payment are to be such as the Secretary of State decides.

(3) Such a grant may be paid subject to such conditions as the Secretary of State decides.

(4) The conditions may include conditions as to the circumstances in which the whole or any part of the grant is to be repaid.

4 Electoral Commission

(1) After section 20 of the 2000 Act (transfer of functions of Local Government Boundary Commission for Wales) insert--



" Commission's functions relating to CORE

20A Commission as CORE keeper

The Commission may be designated as a CORE keeper for the purposes of section 1 of the Electoral Administration Act 2006. "

(2) If the Secretary of State designates the Electoral Commission as a CORE keeper, any grant which is paid to the Commission in pursuance of section 3 above must be treated as income received by the Commission for the purposes of paragraph 14(1) of Schedule 1 to the 2000 Act.

5 CORE schemes: supplemental

(1) A CORE scheme may make provision as to circumstances in which a payment is to be made--

(a) by the CORE keeper to an ERO whose area is specified in the scheme;

(b) by such an ERO to the CORE keeper.

(2) A CORE scheme may make provision--

(a) as to circumstances in which the CORE keeper and such an ERO may agree that functions of one of them may be exercised by the other;

(b) for functions of the CORE keeper to be exercised by such an ERO;

(c) for functions of such an ERO to be exercised by the CORE keeper.

(3) A CORE scheme may make provision as to--

(a) the circumstances in which the CORE keeper may make a charge for the provision of services or information to any person;

(b) the level of any such charge.

(4) A CORE scheme may make provision as to the steps to be taken by the CORE keeper in circumstances where a constituency is not wholly situated in the area for which an ERO whose area is specified in the scheme acts.

(5) Provision under subsection (4) may--

(a) apply with such modifications as are specified in the scheme regulations made in pursuance of paragraph 1(1) of Schedule 2 to the 1983 Act, or

(b) make provision as to the arrangements to be made in relation to the exercise by the CORE keeper of his functions under the scheme in the circumstances mentioned in that subsection.

(6) If a CORE keeper obtains any information which an ERO is required or authorised to obtain for the purposes of any provision of--

(a) section 10, 10A or 13A of the 1983 Act (maintenance of registers), or

(b) Schedule 4 to the Representation of the People Act 2000 (c. 2) (absent voting),

the CORE scheme may provide that any requirement of that provision for a person to provide a personal identifier in the form of the person's signature is to be treated for the purposes of that information as a requirement to provide such other evidence of identity as is specified in the scheme.

(7) Any provision of a CORE scheme which authorises or requires the CORE keeper to supply information to another person may specify the form and manner in which the information is to be supplied.

(8) The Secretary of State may provide to a CORE keeper such facilities and equipment as he thinks are necessary or expedient to enable the keeper to carry out his functions under the scheme.

(9) The Secretary of State may make the provision of such facilities and equipment subject to such conditions (including conditions as to the circumstances in which the facilities or equipment must be returned to the Secretary of State) as he thinks fit.

(10) Subject to anything in the CORE scheme in respect of which he is designated, a CORE keeper may make such arrangements as he thinks appropriate with any other person for the provision of any service relating to the exercise of his functions under this Part or the CORE scheme.

6 CORE schemes: procedure

(1) The power to make an order under section 1 is exercisable by statutory instrument.

(2) Such an order must not be made unless a draft of the order has been laid before and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.

(3) Such an order may make different provision for different purposes.

(4) An order establishing or varying a CORE scheme must not be made unless the Secretary of State first consults--

(a) the Electoral Commission;

(b) the Information Commissioner;

(c) the ERO who acts for each area proposed to be specified in the scheme;

(d) the ERO who acts for an area the specification of which the Secretary of State proposes to remove from the scheme.

(5) Subsection (4) does not apply if the effect of a variation is only to terminate any aspect of the scheme (other than the removal of the specification of an area in pursuance of section 1(8)(b)).

7 Amendment of the 1983 Act

In section 63 of the 1983 Act (breach of official duty), in subsection (3) after paragraph (b) insert--

" (ba) a CORE keeper (within the meaning of Part 1 of the Electoral Administration Act 2006), " .

8 Interpretation of Part

(1) This section has effect for the purposes of this Part.

(2) A CORE scheme is a scheme established under section 1.

(3) A CORE keeper is a person designated for the purposes of such a scheme.

(4) "ERO" means an electoral registration officer.



Part 2 Registration of electors

9 Registration officers: duty to take necessary steps

(1) After section 9 of the 1983 Act (registers of electors) insert--

" 9A Registration officers: duty to take necessary steps

(1) Each registration officer must take all steps that are necessary for the purpose of complying with his duty to maintain the registers under section 9 above.

(2) The steps include--

(a) sending more than once to any address the form to be used for the canvass under section 10 below;

(b) making on one or more occasions house to house inquiries under subsection (5) of that section;

(c) making contact by such other means as the registration officer thinks appropriate with persons who do not have an entry in a register;

(d) inspecting any records held by any person which he is permitted to inspect under or by virtue of any enactment or rule of law;

(e) providing training to persons under his direction or control in connection with the carrying out of the duty.

(3) Regulations made by the Secretary of State may amend subsection (2) by--

(a) varying any of the paragraphs in that subsection;

(b) inserting any paragraph;

(c) repealing any paragraph. "

(2) Subsection (6) of section 9 of that Act is omitted.

10 Anonymous registration

(1) After section 9A of the 1983 Act (inserted by section 9(1) above) insert--

" 9B Anonymous registration

(1) This section applies if an application for registration in a register of parliamentary electors or local government electors is made in accordance with the requirements prescribed for the purposes of section 10A(1)(a) below and is accompanied by--

(a) an application under this section made in accordance with prescribed requirements (an application for an anonymous entry),

(b) a declaration made in accordance with such requirements for the purposes of this section, and

(c) such evidence in support of the application for an anonymous entry as may be prescribed.

(2) If the registration officer determines that the person is entitled to be registered, he must also determine whether the safety test is satisfied.

(3) If the registration officer determines that the safety test is satisfied--

(a) section 9(2) above does not apply in relation to the person; and

(b) the person's entry in the register shall instead contain letters in the prescribed form and his electoral number.

(4) An entry containing the matters mentioned in subsection (3)(b) above is referred to in this Act as an anonymous entry.

(5) If an anonymous entry is made in respect of a person, the registration officer shall remove any other entry in the register for that person.

(6) If the registration officer does not determine that the safety test is satisfied, no entry is to be made in respect of him in the register (whether an anonymous entry or otherwise).

(7) Subsection (6) above does not affect--

(a) any other entry in the register for the person;

(b) the determination of any further application for registration which is made by the person (including an application which is treated as having been made by him by virtue of section 10A(2) below).

(8) Any communication sent by a registration officer or the returning officer for any election to a person who has an anonymous entry (A) must be sent in an envelope or other form of covering so as not to disclose to any other person that A has an anonymous entry.

(9) Subsection (8) does not apply to a communication relating only to a local government election in Scotland.

(10) The safety test is satisfied if the safety of the applicant for an anonymous entry or that of any other person of the same household would be at risk if the register contains the name of the applicant or his qualifying address.

(11) In this section, "determines" means determines in accordance with regulations.

9C Removal of anonymous entry

(1) If a person has an anonymous entry in a register, his entitlement to remain registered in pursuance of the application for registration mentioned in section 9B(1) terminates--

(a) at the end of the period of 12 months beginning with the date when the entry in the register first takes effect, or

(b) if the declaration made for the purposes of section 9B is cancelled at any time before the expiry of that 12 month period, at the time when the declaration is cancelled.

(2) Subsection (1) above does not affect the application of any other provision of this Act or of the Representation of the People Act 1985 which has the effect that the person's entitlement to registration terminates before the expiry of the 12 month period mentioned in subsection (1) or before the cancellation of the declaration made for the purposes of section 9B.

(3) If a person's entitlement to remain registered terminates by virtue of subsection (1) above, the registration officer concerned shall remove his entry from the register, unless he is entitled to remain registered with an anonymous entry in pursuance of a further application for registration accompanied by a further application under section 9B. "

(2) Part 1 of Schedule 1 (which makes further provision in connection with anonymous registration) has effect.

11 Alterations of registers: pending elections

(1) Section 13B of the 1983 Act (alteration of registers: pending elections) is amended in accordance with subsections (2) to (4).

(2) For subsection (1) substitute--

" (1) If, by virtue of section 13A(2) above, an alteration in a published version of a register is to take effect after the fifth day before the date of the poll for an election to which this section applies, the alteration does not have effect for the purposes of the election. "

(3) For subsection (2) substitute--

" (2) Subsection (3) below applies where--

(a) at any time before the appropriate publication date in the case of an election to which this section applies, section 13A above applies to a registration officer, by virtue of subsection (1) of that section, in connection with a determination, requirement or decision falling within any of paragraphs (a) to (d) of that subsection;

(b) in consequence of the determination, requirement or decision an entry relating to a person falls to be made in (or removed from) the register in respect of an address in the relevant election area; and

(c) no alteration made in consequence of the determination, requirement or decision--

(i) has already taken effect, or

(ii) is due to take effect,

under subsection (2) of that section on or before the fifth day before the date of the poll. "

(4) After subsection (3) insert--

" (3A) Subsection (3B) below applies where--

(a) at any time on or after the appropriate publication date in the case of an election to which this section applies but before the prescribed time on the day of the poll, section 13A above applies to a registration officer, by virtue of subsection (1) of that section, in connection with a notification mentioned in paragraph (c) of that subsection; and

(b) in consequence of the notification--

(i) an entry relating to that person falls to be made in the register in respect of an address in the relevant election area, or

(ii) his entry in the register requires to be altered.

(3B) In such a case the registration officer shall issue, in the prescribed manner, a notice specifying the appropriate alteration in the register; and--

(a) the notice shall be so issued by him when he receives the notification; and

(b) the alteration shall take effect as from the beginning of the day on which the notice is issued.

(3C) Subsection (3D) below applies where--

(a) at any time on or after the appropriate publication date in the case of an election to which this section applies but before the prescribed time on the day of the poll, section 13A above applies to a registration officer, by virtue of subsection (1) of that section, in connection with a determination falling within paragraph (d) of that subsection;

(b) the determination was made following a representation made by or on behalf of a person to the registration officer; and

(c) in consequence of the determination--

(i) an entry relating to that person falls to be made in the register in respect of an address in the relevant election area, or

(ii) his entry in the register requires to be altered.

(3D) In such a case the registration officer shall issue, in the prescribed manner, a notice specifying the appropriate alteration in the register; and--

(a) the notice shall be so issued by him when he makes the determination; and

(b) the alteration shall take effect as from the beginning of the day on which the notice is issued.

(3E) In subsection (3C)(b) above, "representation" means a representation made in accordance with prescribed requirements to the effect that the register contains a clerical error. "

(5) In section 56 of the 1983 Act (registration appeals), in subsection (4A) for the words from "13B(3) above" to "returning officer" substitute "13B(3) or (3B) above on or before the date of the poll".

(6) Part 2 of Schedule 1 (which contains further amendments of the 1983 Act relating to the alteration of registers) has effect.

12 Determinations by registration officers and objections

(1) In section 7 of the 1983 Act (residence: patients in mental hospitals who are not detained offenders or on remand), after subsection (3)(a) insert--

" (aa) the registration officer determines in accordance with regulations that the person was not entitled to be registered, or " .

(2) In section 7A of that Act (residence: persons remanded in custody etc.), after subsection (3)(a) insert--

" (aa) the registration officer determines in accordance with regulations that the person was not entitled to be registered, or " .

(3) In section 7C of that Act (effect of declaration of local connection), after subsection (2)(a) insert--

" (aa) the registration officer determines in accordance with regulations that the person was not entitled to be registered, " .

(4) In section 10A of that Act (maintenance of registers: registration of electors) after subsection (3) insert--

" (3A) Subsection (3) above applies to an objection to a person's registration whether the objection is made before or after the person is registered in the register. "

(5) In that section, in subsection (5)--

(a) omit the word "duly";

(b) for paragraph (b) substitute--

" (b) determines that the elector was not entitled to be registered in respect of that address or that he has ceased to be resident at that address or has otherwise ceased to satisfy the conditions for registration set out in section 4 above. "

(6) In that section, after subsection (5A) insert--

" (5B) A registration officer may, for the purpose of obtaining any information relevant to a determination under subsection (5)(b) above, make such house to house inquiries as he thinks fit. "

(7) In section 15 of that Act (service declaration), after subsection (2)(a) insert--

" (aa) the registration officer determines in accordance with regulations that the person was not entitled to be registered, " .

(8) In section 56 of that Act (registration appeals), after subsection (1)(a) insert--

" (aa) from any decision under this Act of the registration officer (other than on an application for registration or objection to a person's registration) that a person registered in respect of any address was not entitled to be registered in respect of that address or that he has ceased to be resident at that address or has otherwise ceased to satisfy the conditions for registration set out in section 4 above, " .

(9) In section 2 of the Representation of the People Act 1985 (c. 50) (registration of British citizens overseas), after subsection (2)(a) insert--

" (aa) the registration officer determines in accordance with regulations that the person was not entitled to be registered, " .

13 Registration of voters with service qualification

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(1) In section 15 of the 1983 Act (service declaration), after subsection (8) insert--

" (9) The Secretary of State may by order provide that, in relation to the persons mentioned in section 14(1)(a) and (d), subsection (2)(a) above has effect as if for the period of 12 months there were substituted such other period (not exceeding five years) as he thinks appropriate.

(10) The power to make an order under subsection (9) is exercisable by statutory instrument, which may contain such incidental or consequential provision as the Secretary of State thinks appropriate.

(11) No order may be made under subsection (9) unless--

(a) the Secretary of State first consults the Electoral Commission, and

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