Government’s Elections Bill achieves Royal Assent

The Elections Bill has received Royal Assent, providing voters with greater protection against election fraud, as well as new measures to prevent intimidation at the ballot box.

The Act also includes new anti-fraud measures for absent voters, the introduction of First Past the Post for mayoral and Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections and a new electoral sanction for those convicted of intimidation against a candidate, campaigner or elected office holder.

Importantly, the move will also drive a change that will require authorities to provide disabled voters with specialist equipment to support them to vote if needed, and allow anyone over the age of 18 to accompany them in the polling station.

Kemi Badenoch, Minister for Equalities and Levelling Up Communities, said: “It is paramount we protect the integrity of our ballot, so our elections remain secure for generations to come. Royal Assent now means we can eliminate election fraud and make elections more inclusive, ensuring that everyone who is eligible to vote will continue to have the opportunity to do so.”

Local councils will receive support from the government’s Electoral Integrity Programme to allow them to deliver the changes, and the Electoral Commission will communicate through campaigns with voters to inform them of the new requirements. The government will meet the cost of the new requirements which arise from the Act.

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