ARTICLE V. APPENDIX
2: RESPONSE FROM THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION ON THE DRAFT POLICE
AND CRIME COMMISSIONER ELECTIONS (AMENDMENT) (NO. 2) ORDER 2014)
The Electoral Commission welcomes the
invitation of the House of Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny
Committee to comment on the draft Order, above, laid before Parliament
by the Home Office on July 9 2014.
Having recommended such a booklet
be produced both before and since the first PCC polls in November
2012, the Commission supports the intention of the Order to provide
for an information booklet about PCC by-elections to be delivered
to households as a pilot measure.
· The Commission is satisfied
that the approach proposed for the funding of such a booklet mirrors
that used for mayoral elections in England, including for the
Mayor of London
· The Commission welcomes the
opportunities presented by a pilot scheme
· The Commission believes that
the evaluation of the impact of a pilot scheme should include
whether the level of financial support requested of candidates
by the Returning Officer was appropriate.
· The Commission understands
that all candidates will also have an equal opportunity the opportunity
to publish their election address on a website provided by the
Home Office, as was the case for the elections in November 2012
Section 5.01 Background
There was very clear evidence from our
survey of voters and non-voters that the lack of voters' awareness
had a significant impact upon the first set of PCC elections on
15 November 2012 when provision was not made for every household
to receive a candidate information booklet of type provided for
the nearest comparative elections (those for elected Mayors).
Following the 2012 PCC elections, the
Commission asked people who did not vote their reasons for not
voting; about 37% of them gave a reason that related to a lack
of awareness. This compares to the usual response rate of 6% or
7% of people who cite lack of information when asked to explain
their decision not to vote at other elections.
The Commission also asked questions
about whether people felt they had enough information to make
an informed choice about those standing to be elected as a PCC
and only 22% of people said they felt they did have enough information.
By comparison, at the last set of local government elections in
May, 63% of people said they had enough information to make an
informed choice, so a lack of awareness was a significant factor
in the historic low level of turn out at the last elections.
The Commission's report on how the 2012
PCC Elections were run may be found here:
Section 5.02 Consultation on the
The Commission was consulted on this
Order by the Home Office and identified two minor technical amendments
which were both accepted.
The Commission supports the intention
of the Order and a full evaluation of the pilot in order to help
ensure that lack of information does not adversely impact voters'
experience at future PCC elections in England and Wales.