The Electoral Commission has been formally consulted on the above draft regulations that the Cabinet Office proposes to make under powers in
the Wales Act 2017.
We understand that proposed regulations will make consequential amendments and saving provision in respect of certain pieces of electoral legislation. These provisions are required as a result of the provisions in the Wales Act (sections 3 and Schedule 1 and 2, and sections 5 to 8 of the Act) that devolve powers in relation to Welsh Assembly and local government elections in Wales, and in particular the devolution of the franchise for local government elections and the registration of electors for local government in Wales.
The Welsh Language Legislation Advisory Group has been asked to respond separately on the Welsh language aspects of the proposed draft
The Commission’s response to each of the areas covered in the regulations is set out below.
We have no comments to make on the amendments that are proposed to regulation 26 of the Representation of the People Regulations 2001 (SI
2001/341) (applications for registration) to make consequential provision in connection with the reservation of the digital service.
Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections
We understand the reasons for changing the way the PCC franchise is expressed, as a consequence of the devolution of the franchise for local
government elections in Wales. We feel, however, that the proposed definition of the “register of electors” at a PCC election in Wales is too lengthy and complicated and thought should be given to making it more easily understandable and to avoid confusion by electoral administrators.
Welsh Assembly Elections
We are pleased that the proposed draft regulations provide clarity that the existing National Assembly for Wales (Representation of the People) Order
2007 that sets out the rules for the conduct of the Welsh Assembly Elections will continue to be in force after the provisions of the Wales Act take effect.
We note that this is with the exception of provisions for the combination of polls at Welsh Assembly and local government elections in Wales, as the
combination of an ordinary local government election and an ordinary general election of members of the National Assembly for Wales will be reserved under changes made by the Wales Act.