UK Electoral Commission Releases New Reports on UK Election Administration

Recently the UK Electoral Commission released reports calling for changes in election administration in the UK and Scotland. Here’s a summary of the recommendations in the UK report:

The report, Electoral Administration in the UK, calls for a series of changes to ensure that the voter is put first when future elections are planned. These recommendations include:

* Establish Electoral Management Boards in Great Britain to provide coordination, leadership and support for elections. The boards should be made up of those running elections in an area, recognised in law and independent.
* Give the Chair of the Electoral Management Board a statutory power to give directions to Returning Officers to ensure that best practice is followed and to keep professional standards high.
* Strengthen the role of Returning Officers to ensure that their operational role in running elections is clearly distinct from the formation of election policy by government, and the performance oversight role of the Electoral Commission.
* Simplify electoral law and address the shortfall in funding for electoral administration that exists across the UK.
* Ensuring that electoral law is finalised six months before any election.
* Consider the financial and practical implications of establishing a professional UK-wide electoral registration service.
* Extend the role of the Electoral Commission to ensure that all those in charge of running elections across the UK report against consistent standards on their performance in running elections, and in encouraging people to register to vote.