Report: How the 2016 Police and Crime Commissioner elections were run

Recommendations: Administration of the poll

Recommendation 3: Legislation for elections should be clear in good time before it is required to be implemented or complied with

The Police and Crime Commissioner Elections Order 2016 was laid in Parliament on 17 December 2015, just under five months before polling day for the 2016 elections.

Governments with legislative competence over elections within the UK should manage the development and approval of legislation so that it is clear (either by Royal Assent to primary legislation, or by laying secondary legislation for approval by Parliament) at least six months before it is required to be implemented or complied with by campaigners or electoral administrators.

If a government has not been able to make legislation clear at least six months before the date of a scheduled poll, it should table a formal statement in the relevant legislature, explaining why it has not, and setting out its assessment of the likely impact of the late confirmation of legislation for campaigners, electoral administrators and electors.

Recommendation 4: Information and analysis of the costs of the 2012 and 2016 PCC elections should be made publicly available

Information about the costs of running elections will help governments and Returning Officers to secure the most efficient allocation of resources at future polls.

The UK Government should publish as soon as possible full cost details for the 2012 and 2016 PCC elections, and make any recommendations for improvements in the way the process is administered at future elections. 

Recommendation 5: Electors should be able to check online whether they are correctly registered to vote

Providing a way for electors to check their registration status at the beginning of the online registration application process would reduce the action required by voters to keep their register entry up to date, and would also reduce the impact on EROs of processing duplicate applications. 

The UK Government should develop an online service to allow people to check whether they are already correctly registered to vote before they complete a new application to register.

Any such service would need to carefully manage and protect voters’ personal information.