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An election address provides a means of conveying a candidate’s policy and views to electors. A candidate at a Parliamentary election and the registered party or individual candidate at a European Parliamentary election only pays for the printing of the address; the postage is free. The name and address of the printer and publisher must appear on the face of the address.

At mayoral and the Greater London Authority elections the Returning Officer produces a booklet which includes all the election addresses of the candidates who wish to be included and this is sent to all registered voters in the area. The candidates have to contribute towards the production cost of the booklet but the postage is paid by the Returning Officer.

The election addresses of the candidates at the elections for the Police and Crime Commissioners in 2012 were made available on a central website which took the place of candidate mailings or a booklet sent out to householders. The Electoral Commission sent out a booklet to every household as part of its current awareness campaign about the elections; this booklet gave details of the website hosting the candidates’ addresses.

Following the death of Bob Jones, the Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands, on 1 July 2014, a by-election will be held on 21 August 2014. This Note gives details of the provisions of the Police and Crime Commissioner Elections (Amendment) (No 2) Order 2014 which allows the Government to trial the distribution of booklets which contain the candidates’ election addresses to evaluate whether this will increase public awareness of the candidates at the PCC by-election; at the 2012 PCC elections turnout averaged 14.7% across all 41 police areas.

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