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The Bill makes provision for the introduction of individual electoral registration by 2015. Transitional arrangements will allow the use of data matching to verify applications to be included on the electoral register and also allow the ‘carry forward’ of electors who are not verified so that they will remain on the first register published under the new system. The annual canvass of electors is retained although powers are given to the Secretary of State to amend, abolish or reinstate it at a later date.

A civil penalty is introduced for those who do not apply to be registered when required to do so by the Electoral Registration Officer.

Other electoral administration measures in the Bill include extending the electoral timetable for Parliamentary elections from 17 to 25 days. The Secretary of State is also given the power to withhold or reduce a Returning Officer’s fee because of poor performance.

A programme motion has been tabled allotting three days for the committee and remaining stages of the Bill on the floor of the House.


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