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Elections and Elected Bodies (Wales) Bill

Dr Georgina Bensted
Dr Georgina Bensted

This week, the Welsh Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution, Mick Antoniw MS, announced the Elections and Elected Bodies (Wales) Bill. This Bill, if passed, will introduce new innovations in elections, including introducing a new duty on electoral registration officers to register electors without application; new piloting powers for electoral innovations at Welsh elections, a requirement on Welsh Ministers to make information about Welsh elections more accessible for voters and a duty to promote diversity within the Senedd and local government.

Further changes will include passing functions to the Democracy and Boundary Commission Cymru, adjusting the role and remit of the Electoral Commission – such as strengthening electoral review arrangements and making the Commission responsible for the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales’s functions.

The Bill will also disqualify town and community councillors from also serving as Members of the Senedd, as well as removing the ‘grace period’ for councillors elected to the Senedd and Members of the Senedd elected as Members of Parliament.

Alongside changes to the size of the Senedd and voting arrangements, the Bill is intended to modernise the Welsh electoral system.

Much of the Bill’s proposals received support from opposition parties, although concerns were raised by the Welsh Conservatives about other countries’ experiences with automatic voter registration and transferring the functions of the Independent Remuneration Panel to the Electoral Commission.

For a bird's eye view.
Am olwg oddi uchod.

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