Representation of the People (Young People's Enfranchisement) Bill (HC Bill 24)

A

BILL

TO

Reduce the voting age to 16 in parliamentary and other elections; to make
provision for auto-enrolment onto the electoral register for people aged 16 to
24; to make provision about the use of educational establishments as polling
stations; and for connected purposes.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 Voting age (elections)

(1) The Representation of the People Act 1983 is amended as follows—

(a) in section 1(1)(d) (definition of voting age for parliamentary elections),
for “18” substitute “16”; and

(b) 5for section 2(1)(d) (local government electors) and subsection 1A
substitute—

(d) is of voting age (that is, 16 years or over)”.

(2) In the Representation of the People Act 1985, in section 1(5) (entitlement to vote
of overseas electors), for “18” substitute “16”.

2 10Voting age (referendums)

The voting age for referendums held in—

(a) England;

(b) Northern Ireland;

(c) Scotland;

(d) 15Wales; or

(e) any combination thereof

shall be 16.

3 Automatic electoral registration of students aged 16

(1) The Representation of the People Act 1983 is amended as follows.

Representation of the People (Young People's Enfranchisement) BillPage 2

(2) After section 9A (registration officers: duty to take necessary steps) insert—

9AA Automatic electoral registration of students aged 16

(1) In carrying out the duties under section 9 and section 9A, each
registration officer must ensure that all students who attend schools in
5the area for which the registration officer acts and who have reached
the age of 16 are automatically placed on the electoral register.

(2) The Secretary of State must by regulations impose a duty on schools
requiring them to provide specified information to registration officers
for the purposes of electoral registration of school students who have
10reached the age of 16.”

4 Automatic electoral registration of other persons aged 16 to 24

(1) The Secretary of State must make arrangements for the preparation of a report
assessing how the law ought to be changed to bring about automatic electoral
registration of persons aged 16 to 24 who would not be automatically placed
15on the electoral register by virtue of section 9AA of the Representation of the
People Act 1983 (automatic electoral registration of students aged 16).

(2) The Secretary of State must lay a copy of report prepared under subsection (1)
before each House of Parliament within twelve months of the passing of this
Act.

(3) 20After the report under subsection (1) has been published, the Secretary of State
may make regulations to change the law relating to automatic electoral
registration of persons aged 16 to 24 who would not be automatically placed
on the electoral register by virtue of section 9AA of the Representation of the
People Act 1983 (automatic electoral registration of students aged 16).

5 25Use of educational establishments as polling places

(1) The Secretary of State must make arrangements for the preparation of a report
assessing how the law ought to be changed to make the process of voting as
accessible as possible for people aged 16 to 24.

(2) The report under this section must include, but is not limited to, an assessment
30of the advantages and disadvantages of—

(a) using educational establishments as polling places;

(b) providing more limited opening hours for polling places which are
educational establishments aligned with when students are attending
the educational establishment; and

(c) 35using buildings within a specified distance of educational
establishments as polling places.

(3) The Secretary of State must lay a copy of report prepared under this section
before each House of Parliament within twelve months of the passing of this
Act.

(4) 40After the report has been published, the Secretary of State may make
regulations to change the law relating to the process of voting to make it as
accessible as possible for people aged 16 to 24.

Representation of the People (Young People's Enfranchisement) BillPage 3

6 Regulations

(1) Regulations under this Act may—

(a) make different provision for different purposes;

(b) make incidental, consequential or supplemental provision (including
5provision amending provision made by or under an Act, whenever
passed or made);

(c) make transitional or transitory provision or savings.

(2) Regulations under this section are to be made by statutory instrument.

(3) A statutory instrument containing regulations under this section may not be
10made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before and approved by a
resolution of each House of Parliament.

7 Financial provisions

There is to be paid out of money provided by Parliament—

(a) any expenditure incurred under or by virtue of this Act, and

(b) 15any increase attributable to this Act in the sums payable under any other Act
out of money so provided.

8 Extent, commencement and short title

(1) This Act extends to England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

(2) Sections 1 and 2 come into force at the end of the period of six months
20beginning with the day on which this Act is passed.

(3) Section 3 comes into force at the end of the period of twelve months beginning
with the day on which this Act is passed, subject to subsection (4).

(4) The power to make regulations under section 9AA(2) of the Representation of
the People Act 1983 may be exercised at any time after the passing of this Act.

(5) 25Sections 4, 5, 6 and this section come into force on the day on which this Act is
passed.

(6) This Act may be cited as the Representation of the People (Young People’s
Enfranchisement) Act 2018.