PCRC publishes report into voter engagement, Friday, 14 November



 

Political and Constitutional Reform Committee (House of Commons)

 

Read the full report here

 

Voter%20engagement%20embargoed%20copy%20-%20web-1.pdf

 

 

Substantial reforms needed to re-engage the public with politics and elections in the UK

 

M P s    c a l l    f o r    p o l i t i c a l    p a r t ie s    t o    i n c l u d e    p r o p o s a ls    i n    t h e ir manifestos—such as compulsory voting, online voting and votes for 16-17 year olds —ahead of the 2015 election

 

Today, Friday 14 November 2014, the Commons Political and Constitutional Reform Committee launches a report and a public consultation on reforms to voting arrangements to re-engage British people with politics and elections.

 

Launching the report, Graham Allen MP, Chair of the Committee, said:

 

“Our democracy is facing a crisis if we do not take urgent action to make elections more accessible to the public and convince them that it is worth voting.

 

“Turnout for the last general election was only 65%—almost 16 million voters chose not to participate—and millions of people are not even registered to vote. This is not an acceptable state of affairs for a modern democracy.

 

“The fact that almost 85% of people turned out for the recent referendum on Scottish independence shows that people will turn out if they care about an issue and believe they can make a difference. This lesson needs to be learnt and applied to all other elections.

 

“Our report on voter engagement considers some radical changes, like compulsory voting, online voting, and extending the franchise to younger people, because we believe a serious problem needs serious answers. We hope our report shows that Parliament is waking up to this issue by calling for radical change.

 

“We are asking the public to seriously consider the proposals we put forward in our report and give us their views on what would work – what would engage you? What would make it easier for you to get out and vote? And care about voting? - so we can put forward the best recommendations in a final report ahead of the 2015 general election.”

 

The proposals the Committee is inviting views on include:

 

Making voting compulsory in some elections, with an option to “abstain” or vote for “none of the above”

 

Extending the franchise to 16 and 17 year olds

 

Modernising electoral administration by considering options such as automatic registration, letting people register on the day of an election, online voting and many more

 

Reforming party structures to better engage with the public Looking at how the media and politics can interact for the greater

good of a healthy democracy

 

Taking forward decentralisation and devolution so the electorate can engage much more in deciding their own affairs

 

Doing more to increase registration for those people under represented on the electoral registers—including young people, British citizens living overseas, commonwealth and EU citizens and members of some Black and Minority Ethnic groups

 

The Committee plans to produce a final report on voter engagement in the New Year, informed by the responses it receives on the conclusions and recommendations set out in this report.

 

Contribute to the discussion

 

The Committee welcomes written submissions on any or all of the conclusions and recommendations set out in its report on pages 82 to 94. The Committee would particularly welcome submissions from organisations that have sought the views of their members.

 

The deadline for written submissions is Friday 9 January 2014. Submissions can be as short as you wish but it would be helpful if they did not significantly exceed 3,000 words unless this has been cleared in advance with the Committee secretariat. Written responses to the Committee will usually be treated as evidence to the Committee and may be published. If you object to your response being made public, please make this clear when it is submitted.

 

Written evidence on the Proposals on voter engagement should be submitted online:

 

Submit evidence on the Proposals on voter engagement (this link will go live at 00.01am on Friday 14 November)

 

If you are considering making a submission please read the following guidelines:

 

•    Guidance on submitting written evidence If you intend to make a submission and require further time, please

contact us at [email protected]

 

Press requests: Jessica Bridges-Palmer, Committee Media Officer,

 

Email: [email protected]    

Mobile: 07917 488489

 

All other requests: Political and Constitutional Reform Committee, Tel:

020 7219 0737 Email: [email protected]

 

FURTHER INFORMATION:

Further details about this inquiry and the terms of reference can be found on the Committee’s website at: Voter engagement in the UK

 

Media Info: Jessica Bridges-Palmer [email protected] 07917 488489

 

Committee Membership is as follows: Mr Graham Allen (Chair) (Nottingham North), Mr Jeremy Browne (Taunton Deane), Mr Christopher Chope (Christchurch), Tracey Crouch (Chatham and Aylesford), Mark Durkan (Foyle), Paul Flynn (Newport West), Fabian Hamilton (Leeds North East), David Morris (Morecambe and Lunesdale), Robert Neill (Bromley and Chislehurst), Chris Ruane (Vale of Clwyd), Mr Andrew Turner (Isle of Wight)

 

Follow the Committee on Twitter: @CommonsPolCon

 

Specific Committee Information: [email protected] 020 7219 6287

 

Committee Website: www.parliament.uk/pcrc Watch committees and parliamentary debates online: www.parliamentlive.tv

 

Publications / Reports / Reference Material: Copies of all select committee reports are available from the Parliamentary Bookshop (12 Bridge St, Westminster, 020 7219 3890) or the Stationery Office (0845 7023474). Committee reports, press releases, evidence transcripts, Bills; research papers, a directory of MPs, plus Hansard (from 8am daily) and much more, can be found on www.parliament.uk

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