Reply To: Elections aftermath

Home Forums Discussion Forum Elections aftermath Reply To: Elections aftermath

Kim Sanders-Fisher

UK electoral law poses “serious and unnecessary risks”
Dated 01 November 2019, this article states that:
“Current UK electoral law poses serious and unnecessary risks for everybody involved, concludes Electoral Law: the urgent need for reform, a report published today by the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC). Candidates, agents, parties, administrators and voters must navigate a thicket of complicated and sometimes contradictory legislation ahead of the December election.”

• Read the full report: Electoral Law: the urgent need for reform. Unfortunately, I doubt I can embed this lik as it goes direct to a pdf file that just automatically downloads to your laptop without exposing the text of the link itself. It goes on to mention a 2016 Interim report:

“An interim report published by the Law Commission in 2016 made recommendations designed to consolidate electoral law and make it fit for purpose, but to date little progress has been made – prompting PACAC’s inquiry. The Law Commission is due to publish its full report in 2020, and PACAC urges the Government to make this the basis for future reforms.”

This section also contains a direct download pdf file link. To access these links click on the title of this piece which has an embedded link to the relevant Commons Select Committee page as does this last link.
“In its report, PACAC underlines the urgent need to of simplify, update and consolidate current legislation, and with the country set to go to the polls in December, its conclusions should be treated as a priority by whoever forms the next Government.”

These Reports Highlighted the difficulty of challenging an election result under the current Petition system:
“The election petition system for challenging elections is archaic, too complicated and not fit for purpose. It is in the public interest that meritorious election petitions are brought forward but the under the current system there is a risk that such petitions will not be brought forward, due to the complexity of the process and the level of potential cost. “We agree with the Law Commission’s recommendation that that the election petition system is brought into the modern court system. As part of any such reform, the Government must ensure the right balance is struck between ensuring access to justice for electors and also preventing vexatious attempts to challenge elections.””

Unfortunately, these warnings have been ignored by a government that stood to gain from the complexity of challenging their potentially corrupt mandate. Only a massive public outcry could force recognition of the need for an investigation.