A Consultation on Electoral Reform Was Announced

As the UK law is considered to be fragmented and outdated the Law Commission for England and Wales appointed a meeting on which it will suffer some changes. The voting system for general elections, however, will not be a part of this reform.

In connection with this announcement, this very same Commission published a report, seeking opinions for a number of different learned respondents as for example the Government, public bodies and members of the public.

This meeting is due to be hold in late 2014, and the report announcing its results should be published in summer 2015.

It will cover many different areas of the law related to the rules about the announcement of the results of elections, about technical electoral administration, the methods of voting, and rules on candidates and campaigning.

The law has not been changed in a significant way since 1872 and the recommended changes now will try to modernize it making it simpler and more flexible.

The aspects of the law, which will not be discussed covers the rules on who can vote in elections and the voting systems used. Such changes were debated much but last year a UK-wide referendum was held and the question in matter was whether general elections should continue to use the “first-past-the-post” system.

After the referendum, the Commission decided not to include these areas in the consultation, claiming they would be “best left to democratic or political consensus”.

Different voting methods will be considered at the consultation but new methods as online voting probably will not be mentioned. According to a report from 2010 almost 40% of the internet users in the UK answered they would prefer to vote in the General Election if the option to vote online had been available.

Respondents to the consultant were on the contrary opinion- they insisted on consideration of new voting methods.

“The complexity and sheer scale of the existing framework for electoral law puts at risk the credibility of our electoral process,” said Frances Patterson QC, from the Law Commission. “The price we pay as a democracy when the electoral process loses credibility is high and potentially catastrophic.

“Our consultees have told us, with one voice, that the law is in need of reform.”

While the Government is discussing the new changes, you can take advantage on our corporate legal documents.