The Electoral Administration Act 2006
is an Act
An Act of Parliament is a statute enacted as primary legislation by a national or sub-national parliament. In the Republic of Ireland the term Act of the Oireachtas is used, and in the United States the term Act of Congress is used.In Commonwealth countries, the term is used both in a narrow...
of the Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...
, passed on 11 July 2006. The Bill was amended during its passage through the House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....
to require political parties to declare large loans; this followed the "Cash for Peerages
Cash for Honours is the name given by some in the media to a political scandal in the United Kingdom in 2006 and 2007 concerning the connection between political donations and the award of life peerages...
" scandal. However, the Government was defeated by Conservative peers
The term Her Majesty's loyal opposition can mean:* Official Opposition * Official Opposition * Official Opposition * Official Opposition...
in the House of Lords on two occasions in connection with electoral registration.
The Bill went back to the House of Commons
The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which also comprises the Sovereign and the House of Lords . Both Commons and Lords meet in the Palace of Westminster. The Commons is a democratically elected body, consisting of 650 members , who are known as Members...
, where it was again passed. On return to the Lords, the government was defeated for a second time, whilst the Commons passed it once more. When the Bill went back before the Lords for the third time on 10 July it was finally passed, and went on to receive Royal Assent
The granting of royal assent refers to the method by which any constitutional monarch formally approves and promulgates an act of his or her nation's parliament, thus making it a law...
the following day. Some of its provisions came into effect upon it receiving assent, with other provisions commencing on other dates. the Act is not yet fully in force.
Among its main provisions, the Act:
- Provides a legislative framework for setting up a "Coordinated Online Record of Electors", known as "CORE", to co-ordinate electoral registration information across regions
- Creates new criminal offences for supplying false electoral registration details or for failure to supply such details
- Allows people to register anonymously on electoral registers if a 'safety test' is passed
- Requires local authorities to review all polling stations, and to provide a report on the reviews to the Electoral Commission
- Provides for the making of signature and date of birth checks on postal vote applications
- Revises the law on "undue influence"
- Allows observers to monitor elections (with the exception of Scottish Local Government elections, which are the responsibility of the Scottish Parliament
The Scottish Parliament is the devolved national, unicameral legislature of Scotland, located in the Holyrood area of the capital, Edinburgh. The Parliament, informally referred to as "Holyrood", is a democratically elected body comprising 129 members known as Members of the Scottish Parliament...
- Reduces the age of candidacy
Age of candidacy is the minimum age at which a person can legally qualify to hold certain elected government offices. In many cases, it also determines the age at which a person may be eligible to stand for an election or be granted ballot access....
for public elections from 21 to 18
- Allows for alterations to ballot paper designs, including the introduction of barcodes and pilot schemes for the introduction of photographs on ballot papers
- Allows citizens of the Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...
and certain Commonwealth
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...
residents the right to stand in elections
- Changes rules on how elections are run in the event of the death of a candidate, following the events in South Staffordshire at the 2005 General Election
The United Kingdom general election of 2005 was held on Thursday, 5 May 2005 to elect 646 members to the British House of Commons. The Labour Party under Tony Blair won its third consecutive victory, but with a majority of 66, reduced from 160....
- Provides for the entitlement of children to accompany parents and carers into polling stations
- Bars candidates from using in their name or description expressions such as "Don't vote for them" or "None of the above"
- Bars candidates from standing in more than one constituency at the same election
- Allows political parties up to 12 separate descriptions to be used on ballot papers, and allows joint candidature
- Requires local authorities to promote and encourage electoral registration and voting
- Amongst other provisions affecting members of the armed forces and other persons with a "service qualification", allows the Secretary of State to extend the period of validity (previously one year) of a "service declaration" by which qualified persons may have their names placed on the electoral register as "service voters"; the Act also imposes new duties upon the Ministry of Defence
The Ministry of Defence is the United Kingdom government department responsible for implementation of government defence policy and is the headquarters of the British Armed Forces....