The Electoral Commission’s latest report “Securing the Vote” is brilliant, it’s not just the best of their previous reports (superbly useful in its own right)… It’s also a comprehensive, yet readable, summary of the “story so far” for the UK electoral system and the modernisation programme worked on since 1997. Very valuable indeed.
The reports reminds the reader again and again how many times the Commission has asked the Government for individual voter registration to be implemented. No doubt what they want there and good on them, it’s a vital improvement for securing our elections particularly when multiple channels are in use.
Also tucked in the report is quite a large land grab, the Commission asks to take central control of funding all electoral activities. Could be useful, but it could also compromise the Commission’s independence if it had to assess its own ‘work’. I quote:
We recommend that core funding for electoral services (i.e.
funding for staffing, training, infrastructure, registration services
and conducting UK elections and referendums) should come from
the Consolidated Fund via The Electoral Commission, so that the
funding can be matched with national standards which the
Commission would also establish.