Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Electoral Administration Act 2006
The Electoral Administration Act 2006 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, passed on 11 July 2006. The Bill was amended during its passage through the House of Lords to require political parties to declare large loans; this followed the "Cash for Peerages" scandal. However, the Government was defeated by Conservative peers in the House of Lords on two occasions in connection with electoral registration.
The Bill went back to the House of Commons, 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 following day. Some of its provisions came into effect upon it receiving assent
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.
Reduces the age of candidacy 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 and certain Commonwealth 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
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

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