Overseas Electors Bill

Explanatory Notes

New section 1D (Duration of entitlement to be registered)

33 New section 1D makes provision in relation to the period a person can remain registered as an overseas elector.

34 New subsection (1) replaces section 2(2) of the RPA 1985. Under subsection (1)(a) the starting position is that once an overseas elector has registered successfully, the registration lasts for 12 months from the date they are entered on the electoral register. However, under subsection (1)(b), an overseas elector can be removed from the electoral register during the course of the 12 month validity period if an event occurs which is prescribed in subsection (4).

35 Under new subsections (2) and (3), an overseas elector registration can be renewed within the last three months of its validity, in which case the renewal extends the registration by 12 months from the end of the current 12 month period, rather than the date of renewal itself. This renewal process is a new concept introduced by the Bill and therefore there are no corresponding provisions currently contained in the RPA 1985.

36 New subsection (4) sets out the occurrence of events which will terminate an overseas elector’s declaration during the 12 month period; these are:

1. where the registration officer determines that the person was never entitled to be registered in the first place ( who will have access to published guidance on the matter) (Subsection (1)(b)),

2. where the registration officer determines that their application for registration, or an application to alter the person’s entry in the register, was made by someone else other than the applicant (Subsection (1)(c)),

3. the individual cancels their declaration (new subsections 1D(4)(c) which is provided for in new subsections 1C(7) for overseas electors declarations and in new section 1E(5) for renewal declarations), or

4. any other entry is made on an electoral register and takes effect (Subsection (4)(d), for example if a person submits a successful overseas elector application in connection to a different address or if a person moves back to the UK and registers as a elector).

37 New subsection (5) defines the "initial registration period" as the first 12 months that an individual is registered as an overseas elector in relation to a particular registration, beginning on the day the individual is entered onto a register. It also defines "further registration period" as any period that a person remains entitled to be registered subsequent to the conclusion of the "initial registration period".

38 New subsection (6) provides that where a registration is renewed, there is a conclusive presumption that the elector in question was not resident in the United Kingdom on the day the renewal declaration is made.

39 New subsection (7) imposes a duty on registration officers to remove the relevant overseas elector’s entry from the register where that overseas elector’s registration expires for any reason or they are no longer entitled to be registered. This replicates the words of section 2(2) of the RPA 1985.


Prepared 7th February 2018