Automatic Electoral Registration (No. 2) Bill (HC Bill 127)

A

BILL

TO

Impose certain duties upon Her Majesty’s Government to ensure the accuracy,
completeness and utility of electoral registers; to make provision for the
sharing of data for the purposes of electoral registration; 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 Duty to ensure that electoral registers are accurate and complete

(1) The Secretary of State must take all necessary steps to ensure that all electoral
registers in the United Kingdom are accurate and complete.

(2) Where the Secretary of State reasonably considers that an electoral register is
5not accurate and complete, the Secretary of State may give such a direction as
he or she considers appropriate to a registration officer or a local authority
responsible for appointing a registration officer for the purposes of ensuring
accuracy and completeness, including but not limited to a direction that—

(a) the registration officer or local authority must take a course of action
10specified in the direction;

(b) the local authority must provide more resources to the registration
officer.

(3) For the purposes of this section, an electoral register is accurate and complete
if at least 98% of those entitled to be registered in it are so registered.

2 15Data matching and sharing for the purposes of electoral registration

(1) The Secretary of State must by regulations impose a duty on public bodies
requiring those bodies to provide specified information to registration officers
for the purposes of electoral registration.

(2) Regulations under subsection (1) must apply to public bodies including but not
20limited to the following—

(a) HM Revenue and Customs;

Automatic Electoral Registration (No. 2) BillPage 2

(b) the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency;

(c) the National Health Service;

(d) NHS Scotland;

(e) all types of state funded schools;

(f) 5local authorities;

(g) the Department for Work and Pensions;

(h) HM Passport Office;

(i) a police force; and

(j) the TV Licensing Authority.

(3) 10Regulations made under subsection (1) shall include the provision of data
collected by specified public bodies by virtue of specified applications or
submissions, which must include applications or submissions of returns or
payments for—

(a) tax;

(b) 15new or renewed driving licences;

(c) registration with a general practitioner;

(d) school registration;

(e) Housing Benefit;

(f) Council Tax;

(g) 20Disability Living Allowance;

(h) Jobseeker’s Allowance;

(i) Employment and Support Allowance;

(j) Personal Independence Payments;

(k) new or renewed passports; and

(l) 25television licences,

as applicable to the specified public body.

(4) Registration officers shall use the specified information received in relation to
a person—

(a) if the specified information received contains all of the required
30information, to register that person on the appropriate electoral register
or registers; or

(b) if the specified information does not contain all of the required
information, to contact that person for the purpose of obtaining the
required information to register that person on the appropriate
35electoral register or registers.

(5) Where a person is registered under subsection (4)(a), that person shall be
omitted from the edited register unless that person notifies the registration
officer to the contrary.

(6) For the purposes of subsection (4), “the required information” shall be—

(a) 40that person’s full name;

(b) that person’s residential address within the area in respect of which the
registration officer is responsible for maintaining an electoral register;

(c) information that indicates that the person is aged 18 or older, or in the
case of a person under the age of 18, the person’s date of birth; and

(d) 45information that indicates that the person is qualified by nationality to
be so registered,

Automatic Electoral Registration (No. 2) BillPage 3

and this information shall also be sufficient information for a person to be
registered on the appropriate electoral register or registers where a person is to
be registered otherwise than under subsection (4).

(7) A registration officer shall be deemed to have fulfilled the duty under
5subsection (4)(b) to contact a person for the purpose of obtaining the required
information to register that person only if the registration officer has taken all
reasonable steps to contact that person, including by telephone, by post, by
email or in person, and where necessary with the aid of an interpreter.

3 Delegation of registration functions to certain institutions

(1) 10The following institutions must collect the required information under section
2 and report it to the appropriate registration officer for the purpose of electoral
registration each year—

(a) universities in respect of students living in halls of residence;

(b) hospitals in respect of employees living in their accommodation;

(c) 15schools in respect of their pupils aged 16 or over; and

(d) other institutions specified by regulations.

(2) In this section, the “appropriate registration officer” means the registration
officer who is responsible for maintaining an electoral register in respect of the
area in which an institution under this section is situated.

4 20Notification and emendation

(1) Within a reasonable period of time after a registration officer has registered a
person under section 2, the officer must notify that person so that the person
may correct any mistaken information.

(2) Where a person has been notified that he or she has been entered on to an
25electoral register and that person is not entitled to be so registered, and if that
person notifies the registration officer, the registration officer must amend the
electoral register accordingly.

5 Civil penalties

(1) Where a registration officer believes that a person is not co-operating with the
30officer in the exercise of functions under this or any other enactment, the
registration officer must write to that person requiring that person to co-
operate in a specified manner within a period of 2 months and notifying that
person that a penalty must be imposed if that person fails to do so.

(2) A registration officer must impose a penalty of £500 on a person who does not
35comply with a requirement under subsection (1) within the specified period
unless that person can prove that it was reasonable not to do so.

6 Unregistered dwellings

Where no individuals have been entered on to the electoral register in respect
of a dwelling, a registration officer must canvass the dwelling’s residents.

Automatic Electoral Registration (No. 2) BillPage 4

7 Digital software system

The Secretary of State must implement a single and integrated software system
to be used for all electoral registers in the United Kingdom.

8 Regulations

5Regulations under this Act are to be made by statutory instrument subject to
annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

9 Interpretation

In this Act—

  • “electoral register or registers” means the registers in section 9 of the
    10Representation of the People Act 1983 (registration officers);

  • “specified applications” means any applications made by a person
    potentially entitled to be registered to vote as are specified in
    regulations made under section 2(1);

  • “specified public bodies” means any bodies specified in regulations made
    15under section 2(1);

  • “police force” means any of the following—

    (a)

    any police force in England and Wales outside London
    maintained under section 2 of the Police Act 1996 (maintenance
    of police forces),

    (b)

    20the metropolitan police force,

    (c)

    the City of London police force,

    (d)

    the Police Service of Scotland,

    (e)

    the Police Service of Northern Ireland,

    (f)

    the British Transport Police;

  • 25“edited register” has the same meaning as in regulation 93 of the
    Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001 (SI
    2001/341) (edited version of the register).

10 Financial provisions

(NONE) There is to be paid out of money provided by Parliament—

(a) 30any expenditure incurred by the Secretary of State in consequence of this Act,
and

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

11 Extent, commencement and short title

(1) 35This Act extends to the whole of the United Kingdom.

(2) This Act comes into force after the period of six months beginning with the day
on which this Act is passed.

(3) This Act may be cited as the Automatic Electoral Registration Act 2018.