Wales to modernise electoral administration with new Bill

Wales has passed a landmark Bill to introduce automatic registration of electors and to modernise electoral administration.

Elections and Elected Bodies (Wales) Bill, which was first introduced to the Senedd in October 2023, aims to remove barriers to democratic engagement and create a system of electoral administration fit for the 21st century.

This will be done by creating a new online voter information platform, introducing new pilots leading to the automatic registration of voters for Senedd and local government elections in Wales  - with 400,000 people potentially set to be added to the register, and establishing a new all-Wales body responsible for co-ordinating the effective administration of Welsh elections

The Welsh government also said they would introduce measures to increase diversity in the membership of the Senedd and local government.

Expected to get Royal Assent in the summer, the Bill also includes commitments to expand the role and remit of the Democracy and Boundary Commission Cymru.

Counsel General, Mick Antoniw, said: "This is a big year for elections, with last week’s general election reminding us everyone’s vote counts, and by voting we can determine who runs our governments.  

"It is important that every citizen has the opportunity to vote and that means being on the electoral register. According to the Electoral Commission, around 400,000 people are missing from it. This is bad for democracy. Our Bill will seek to automatically register every citizen who is entitled to vote.

"Today, members of the Senedd have voted to bring our electoral system into the 21st century and to make it more accountable and accessible to the people of Wales."

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