As we approach a busy few months in the electoral calendar, we’re reminded just how important our electoral registration services are in making sure we all have the opportunity to make our vote count in elections and referendums.
Today we have published our new standards for Electoral Registration Officers (EROs) across Great Britain. The standards are designed to support EROs in delivering well-run services under the new individual electoral registration system.
When we consulted on our approach between October 2015 and January 2016, respondents welcomed the proposed framework. In particular, they supported our commitment to a flexible approach – reflecting the changing landscape in which electoral registration services are being delivered.
There is no one size fits all. EROs in some areas will face additional challenges, when compared to their colleagues around the country. For example, our electoral integrity support and monitoring work will continue to focus on areas where there has been a history of allegations of electoral fraud and where the risk of further allegations arising is higher. EROs and ROs in these areas have significant experience of preventing and detecting electoral fraud and work harder to minimise this risk . It’s only right that the performance standards framework recognises these differences. We’re also working to introduce performance standards for the first time in Northern Ireland, once online registration is in place.
We’re conscious that further revisions to the standards may be needed over time, to reflect the changing context and wider ambitions for electoral registration services. Alongside this we hope the UK and Scottish Governments allow the UK’s Law Commissions to move onto the next phase of their review into electoral law so that any such future modernisation is based on solid foundations. Only then can we really begin to drag our electoral law from the 19th into the 21st Century.
You can have a look at our consultation response paper here, which sets out the final standards and explains how they will work. We also include an overview of the comments received and the kind of common threads we heard back from respondents. We’d like to thank everyone who took the time to feed back their views.
Head of Performance