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189

 

House of Commons

 
 

Tuesday 18th November 2008

 

Public Bill Committee

 

New Amendments handed in are marked thus Parliamentary Star

 

Parliamentary Star - whiteAmendments which will comply with the required notice period at their next appearance

 

Political Parties and Elections Bill


 

Note

 

The Amendments have been arranged in accordance with the Order of the

 

Committee [4th November 2008].

 


 

Mrs Eleanor Laing

 

17

 

Clause  12,  page  10,  line  20,  leave out from ‘shall’ to end of line 26 and insert

 

‘amend the electoral register by means only of an additional entry at the end of the

 

appropriate section of the register, until the appropriate publication date of an election.’.

 


 

new clauses relating to elections and electoral registration

 

Disposal of election documents in Scotland

 

Mr Michael Wills

 

NC17

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘In the 1983 Act—

 

(a)    

in section 63 (breach of official duty), in subsection (3)(b), the words

 

“sheriff clerk,” are omitted;

 

(b)    

in Schedule 1 (parliamentary elections rules), for rule 58 there is

 

substituted—

 

“58(1)  

This rule modifies rules 55 to 57 in relation to elections in

 

Scotland.


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 18th November 2008                

190

 

Political Parties and Elections Bill, continued

 
 

      (2)  

In relation to such elections—

 

(a)    

the documents mentioned in rule 55(1)—

 

(i)    

are not to be forwarded by the returning

 

officer as required by that rule,

 

(ii)    

instead, are to remain in the returning

 

officer’s custody (and be endorsed by the

 

officer as required by that rule),

 

(b)    

the references in rules 56 and 57 to the relevant

 

registration officer are to be read as references to the

 

returning officer (and rule 55(1A) is to be

 

disregarded),

 

(c)    

the reference in rule 57(1) to the documents to be

 

retained is to be read as a reference to the documents

 

remaining in the returning officer’s custody under

 

sub-paragraph (a)(ii).”’.

 


 

Filling vacant European Parliament seats in Northern Ireland

 

Mr Michael Wills

 

NC18

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

In section 5 of the European Parliamentary Elections Act 2002 (c. 24) (filling

 

vacant seats), after subsection (3) there is inserted—

 

“(4)    

As regards a seat in Northern Ireland, the regulations may, in specified

 

circumstances, require it to be filled as follows—

5

(a)    

where the previous MEP stood in the name of a registered party

 

when elected (or most recently elected), by a person nominated

 

by the nominating officer of that party;

 

(b)    

where paragraph (a) does not apply but the previous MEP gave a

 

notice in accordance with regulations under this Act naming one

10

or more persons as substitutes, by a person so named.

 

(5)    

In subsection (4)—

 

“nominating officer”, in relation to a registered party, means the person

 

registered as its nominating officer under the Political Parties, Elections

 

and Referendums Act 2000 in the Northern Ireland register (within the

15

meaning of that Act);

 

“registered party” means a party registered under that Act in that register;

 

“the previous MEP”, in relation to a vacancy, means the person who was the

 

MEP immediately before the vacancy arose.”

 

(2)    

Regulations containing provision made by virtue of this section may specify that

20

the provision has effect in relation to any seat that is vacant at the time the

 

provision comes into force and in respect of which notice of a by-election has not

 

been published at that time.’.

 

As Amendments to Mr Michael Wills’s proposed New Clause (Filling vacant

 

European Parliament seats in Northern Ireland) (NC18):—


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 18th November 2008                

191

 

Political Parties and Elections Bill, continued

 
 

Mr Alan Reid

 

David Howarth

 

(a)

 

Line  7,  at end insert ‘from a list of up to three persons who are not disqualified to

 

serve as an MEP and whose names and electoral numbers had been submitted

 

along with the nomination papers of the previous MEP at the previous election.’.

 

Mr Alan Reid

 

David Howarth

 

(b)

 

Line  8,  leave out from ‘apply’ to end of line 10 and insert ‘, by the highest ranking

 

person who is not disqualified to serve as an MEP and whose name and electoral

 

number had been submitted on an ordered list of up to three persons along with

 

the previous MEP’s nomination papers at the previous election.’.

 


 

CORE information and action to be taken by electoral registration officers

 

Mr Michael Wills

 

NC19

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

Section 2 of the Electoral Administration Act 2006 (c. 22) (co-ordinated on-line

 

record of electors: use of information) is amended as follows.

 

(2)    

In subsection (6)—

 

(a)    

in paragraph (b), after “is requested” there is inserted “in respect of the

 

same address or”;

 

(b)    

in paragraph (c), for “acts as” there is substituted “is appointed as, or

 

votes as,”.

 

(3)    

After subsection (6) there is inserted—

 

“(6A)    

A CORE scheme may require that where a CORE keeper informs an

 

ERO as mentioned in subsection (5), or informs an ERO of any

 

suspicions that the CORE keeper has concerning the commission of an

 

offence under the 1983 Act or other impropriety—

 

(a)    

the ERO must take such steps (if any) as appear to the ERO to be

 

appropriate in response to being so informed;

 

(b)    

the ERO must notify the CORE keeper of the steps taken (or of

 

the reasons for not taking any), within such period and in such

 

form and manner as is specified—

 

(i)    

in the scheme, or

 

(ii)    

by the CORE keeper in accordance with the scheme.”

 

(4)    

In subsection (7)(b), after “relating to the person” there is inserted “, or to any

 

such suspicions as are mentioned in subsection (6A),”.

 

(5)    

In subsection (11)—

 

(a)    

for “must not authorise” there is substituted “must not—

 

(a)    

authorise”;

 

(b)    

at the end there is inserted—


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 18th November 2008                

192

 

Political Parties and Elections Bill, continued

 
 

“(b)    

authorise one ERO to supply information to another.”’.

 


 

Individual voter registration

 

Mr Francis Maude

 

Nick Herbert

 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

NC1

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

The 1983 Act is amended as follows.

 

(2)    

In section 10 (maintenance of registers: annual canvass), for subsections (4A) and

 

(4B) there is substituted—

 

“(4A)    

Subject to subsection (4B) below, the information to be obtained by the

5

use of such a form for the purpose of a canvass shall include—

 

(a)    

the signature of each of the persons in relation to whom the form

 

is completed;

 

(b)    

the date of birth of each such person; and

 

(c)    

in relation to each such person—

10

(i)    

his national insurance number or a statement that he

 

does not have one,

 

(ii)    

a statement of whether or not he has been resident in the

 

United Kingdom for the whole of the three-month period

 

ending on 15th October in the year in question, and

15

(iii)    

any address in the United Kingdom in respect of which

 

he is or has applied to be registered (other than the

 

address in respect of which the form is completed), and

 

the power in subsection (4) above to prescribe a form

 

includes power to give effect to the requirements of the

20

subsection.

 

(4B)    

An electoral officer may dispense with the requirement mentioned in

 

subsection (4A)(a) above in relation to any person if he is satisfied that it

 

is not reasonably practicable for that person to sign in a consistent and

 

distinctive way because of any incapacity of his or because he is unable

25

to read.”.

 

(3)    

In section 10A (maintenance of registers: registration of electors)—

 

(a)    

for subsections (1A) and (1B) there is substituted—

 

“(1A)    

Subject to subsection (1B) below, an application for registration

 

in respect of an address in the United Kingdom shall include—

30

(a)    

the signature of each of the persons to whom the

 

application relates;

 

(b)    

the date of birth of each such person; and

 

(c)    

in relation to each person—

 

(i)    

his national insurance number or a statement

35

that he does not have one,

 

(ii)    

a statement of whether or not he has been

 

resident in the United Kingdom for the whole of


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 18th November 2008                

193

 

Political Parties and Elections Bill, continued

 
 

the three-month period ending on the date of the

 

application, and

40

(iii)    

any other address in the United Kingdom in

 

respect of which he is or has applied to be

 

registered, and the power in subsection (1)

 

above to prescribe requirements includes power

 

to give effect to the requirements of this

45

subsection.

 

(1B)    

An electoral registration officer may dispense with the

 

requirement mentioned in subsection (1A)(a) above in relation to

 

any person if he is satisfied that it is not reasonably practicable

 

for that person to sign in a consistent and distinctive way because

50

of any incapacity of his or because he is unable to read.”,

 

(b)    

for subsection (5A) there is substituted—

 

“(5A)    

A person’s name is to be removed from the register in respect of

 

any address if—

 

(a)    

the form mentioned in section 10(4) above in respect of

55

that address does not include all the information relating

 

to him required by virtue of section 10(4A) above; or

 

(b)    

the registration officer determines that he is not satisfied

 

with the information relating to that person which was

 

included in that form pursuant to that requirement.”.

60

(4)    

In section 13A (alteration of registers), for subsections (2A) and (2B) there is

 

substituted—

 

“(2A)    

Subject to subsection (2B) below, an application for registration under

 

subsection (1)(a) above in respect of an address in the United Kingdom

 

shall include—

65

(a)    

the signature of each of the persons to whom the application

 

relates;

 

(b)    

the date of birth of each such person; and

 

(c)    

in relation to each such person—

 

(i)    

his national insurance number or a statement that he

70

does not have one,

 

(ii)    

a statement of whether or not he has been resident in the

 

United Kingdom for the whole of the three-month period

 

ending on the date of the application, and

 

(iii)    

any other address in the United Kingdom in respect of

75

which he is or has applied to be registered, and the power

 

in subsection (1)(a) above to prescribe requirements

 

includes power to give effect to the requirements of this

 

subsection.

 

(2B)    

The Chief Electoral Officer may dispense with the requirement

80

mentioned in subsection (2A)(a) above in relation to any person if he is

 

satisfied that it is not reasonably practicable for that person to sign in a

 

consistent and distinctive way because of any incapacity of his or because

 

he is unable to read.”’.

 

As Amendments to Mr Francis Maude’s proposed New Clause (Individual voter

 

registration) (NC1):—


 
 

Public Bill Committee: 18th November 2008                

194

 

Political Parties and Elections Bill, continued

 
 

Mrs Eleanor Laing

 

(a)

 

Leave out lines 12 to 14.

 

Mrs Eleanor Laing

 

(b)

 

Leave out lines 36 to 39.

 

Mrs Eleanor Laing

 

(c)

 

Leave out lines 71 to 73.

 


 

Registration of British citizens overseas

 

Mr Francis Maude

 

Nick Herbert

 

Mrs Eleanor Laing

 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

NC2

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘In section 2 of the Representation of the People Act 1985 (c. 50) (registration of

 

British citizens overseas), after paragraph (3)(b) there is inserted—

 

“(ba)    

the declarant’s passport number or a statement that the declarant

 

does not have one.”’.

 


 

Opting in to the edited electoral register

 

Mrs Eleanor Laing

 

NC7

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

The Representation of the People (England and Wales) (Amendment)

 

Regulations 2001 (SI 2001/341) is amended as follows:

 

(2)    

In regulation 93 (edited version of the register), for subsection (2) there is

 

substituted—

 


 

“The edited register shall include the name and address of any elector whose

 

details are included in the full register only if a request has been expressly made

 

in the form referred to in section 10(4) of the 1983 Act or in accordance with

 

Regulation 26 above by or on behalf of that elector for his or her name and

 

address to be included on the edited register.”’.

 



 
 

Public Bill Committee: 18th November 2008                

195

 

Political Parties and Elections Bill, continued

 
 

Personal identifiers at the ballot box

 

Mr Jonathan Djanogly

 

Mrs Eleanor Laing

 

NC8

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

The Representation of the People Act 1983 (“the 1983 Act”) Schedule 1

 

(Parliamentary Election Rules) shall be amended as follows.

 

(2)    

The following shall be inserted after Rule 27(1) (ballot paper to be delivered to

 

voter on application)—

 

“(1A)    

A ballot paper shall not be delivered to a voter unless he has produced a

 

specified document to the presiding officer or a clerk.

 

(1B)    

Where a voter produces a specified document, the presiding officer or

 

clerk to whom it is produced shall deliver a ballot paper to the voter

 

unless the officer or clerk decides that the document raises a reasonable

 

doubt at to whether the voter is the elector or proxy he represents himself

 

to be.

 

(1C)    

Where a voter produces a specified document to a presiding officer and

 

he so decides, he shall refuse to deliver a ballot paper to the voter.

 

(1D)    

Where a voter produces a specified document to a clerk and he so

 

decides, he shall refer the matter and produce the document to the

 

presiding officer who shall proceed as if the document has been produced

 

to him in the first place.

 

(1E)    

For the purposes of this rule a specified document is one which for the

 

time being falls within the following list—

 

(a)    

a current passport issued by the government of the United

 

Kingdom or by the government of the Republic of Ireland;

 

(b)    

a current licence to drive a motor vehicle granted under Part III

 

of the Road Traffic Act 1972 (or Part III of the Road Traffic Act

 

1988) (including a provisional licence), or under Article 12 of the

 

Road Traffic (Northern Ireland) Order 1981 or any

 

corresponding enactment for the time being in force;

 

(c)    

a credit or debit card with signature;

 

(d)    

HM forces identification card;

 

(e)    

a medical card with signature on it;

 

(f)    

a local authority valid bus pass with signature on it;

 

(g)    

a valid book for the payment of allowances, benefits or pensions

 

if it has a signature in it;

 

(h)    

a tenant book if it has a signature in it;

 

(i)    

a certified copy, or extract, of an entry of marriage issued by a

 

Registrar General, where the voter producing the copy of an

 

extract is a woman married within the period of two years ending

 

with the day of the poll concerned.

 

    

In sub-paragraph (i) above “a Registrar General” means the Registrar

 

General for England and Wales, the Registrar General of Births, Deaths

 

and Marriages for Scotland or the Register General for Northern Ireland,

 

(1F)    

Regulations may make provision varying the list in paragraph (1E) above

 

(whether by adding or deleting documents or varying any description of

 

document).


 
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