Lady Paton, Chair
Gillian Swanson, Project Manager
Existing electoral law has become out-of-date, complex and fragmented with the result that there is consensus in the electoral law community that there is a pressing need for reform. The recommendations in the joint Report (some of which are set out below) would simplify, modernise and rationalise the law.
- Absent voting applications should substantially adhere to prescribed forms set out in secondary legislation.
- Presiding officers should permit voters with disabilities to vote with the assistance of a companion where a voter appears to be unable to vote without assistance. Neither a voter nor a companion should be required to make a formal declaration.
- The secrecy provisions in the current law should be expanded to ensure that postal voting is secret, and to prohibit individuals taking photographs at a polling station unless such action has been approved by the presiding officer.
- Nomination papers should be capable of being delivered by hand and by other means such as electronically.
- The current laws governing elections should be rationalised into a single, consistent legislative framework governing all elections (enacted in accordance with the UK legislative competencies).
- The law on absent voting should reflect the fact that people are choosing to vote by post or proxy at any and all elections for a certain period, or on a particular day, rather than at a particular type of election.
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