The UK Government is making changes to the UK electoral system. The Elections Act contains measures that affect:
elections and the way we vote
campaigning and the rules on campaign spending and funding
parliamentary oversight of the Electoral Commission
The changes in the Act apply to UK Parliament elections, Police and Crime Commissioner elections in England and Wales, and local elections in England. Some provisions will apply to Northern Ireland Assembly elections and local elections in Northern Ireland.
The Act seeks to improve the security, accessibility and transparency of elections and campaigning. The changes it introduces will need to be well planned, with implementation phased and properly funded to ensure that electoral administrators and others involved in running elections can implement the measures as intended.
As devolution leads to different rules for different parts of the UK, it will be important to ensure that the entirety of the system continues to work well and that everyone can understand what rules are in place at different elections.
Now that the Act has been passed into law – and there are new rules for elections, voting and campaigning – we will work with voters, local councils, political parties, campaigners and representative bodies, to ensure everyone involved in elections understands and is prepared for the changes.