Overseas Electors Bill

Explanatory Notes

New section 1C (Overseas elector’s declaration)

26 New section 1C replaces existing section 2(3), (3A) and (4) of the RPA 1985. It sets out the detailed requirements for an overseas elector’s declaration. Subsection (1) sets out the core requirements that all overseas electors’ declarations must contain; subsection (2) sets out the specific additional information needed when applying under the ‘previous registration’ condition; and subsection (3) does likewise for the ‘previous residence’ condition.

27 New subsection (4) provides that the specific additional information usually required under subsection (3) for persons registering under the previous residence condition does not apply to persons who are registering on the basis they were resident in the UK but were of no fixed address and would at that time have been entitled to register using a ‘declaration of local connection’ (such as a homeless person or a merchant seaman). Such persons are however required to specify an address in relation to which they could have made a declaration of local connection on the last day they were resident in the UK.

28 New subsection (5) only applies in relation to declarations that specify an address in Northern Ireland. It makes provision that enables a British citizen who was born in Northern Ireland to declare on their declaration that they are an Irish citizen in addition to, or instead of, declaring they are a British citizen. This is provided for by the Good Friday Agreement. This provision is currently contained in section 2(3A) of the RPA 1985.

29 New subsection (6) prevents an individual from trying to register as an overseas elector in relation to more than one UK address at any one time. Consequently, applicants whose declaration contains more than one address, or applicants who submit multiple declarations with the same date but different addresses, will have their application for registration rejected. This is a replication of the wording in section 2(4) of the RPA 1985. This provision combined with clause 1D(1)(e) prevents a person from holding more than one valid declaration at any one time. This replicates the current provision under section 2 of the RPA 1985.

30 New subsection (7) provides for the declarant to be able to cancel their declaration at any time should they so wish. This replicates section 2(5) of the RPA 1985.

31 New subsection (8) outlines the definitions of terminology used in this section.

32 New subsection (9) clarifies that infants found abandoned in Northern Ireland will be treated as if they were born in Northern Ireland unless the contrary can be shown. This is a replication of section 2(10) of the RPA 1985.


Prepared 7th February 2018