Scottish Government is proposing some changes to the laws on elections in
proposals are set out in the Scottish
Elections (Reform) Bill. The bill was published on 3 September 2019.
Memorandum has been prepared by the Scottish Government to set out
the Government’s policy behind the bill.
are invited to provide your views on these proposals to the Scottish Parliament’s
Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee.
How do the Scottish
Government’s proposals become law?
Scottish Parliament has to examine and approve any bill before it becomes
law. The procedures which the Parliament has to follow are explained
Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee (SPPA Committee) will
be examining the Scottish Elections (Reform) Bill at Stage 1 of this process.
1 involves a committee of the Parliament considering the “general principles”
of the bill (what the bill is trying to do and how it plans to do it).
Committee will gather views on the bill from interested people before
publishing a report on the bill. The whole Scottish Parliament will then
decide whether the bill should continue to the next stage.
What proposals are
contained in the Scottish Elections (Reform) Bill
Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee would welcome your
views on the proposals in the bill.
main proposals include—
change the standard term length for both Scottish parliamentary elections and
local government elections from four years to five years
give greater flexibility to set the size of all council wards by allowing for
two or five member wards, as well as three and four member wards (one member
wards will continue only to be possible in island communities)
restrict electors to voting in only one local authority area in Scotland at
local government elections held on the same day
provisions to help to facilitate pilots that include some form of electronic
voting or other digital processing to be undertaken at a future date
allow people to apply to be added to the electoral register from 14 years of
allow the Presiding Officer to re-schedule a poll for a Scottish general
election in certain circumstances after dissolution, and to require the
Presiding Officer to consult the Electoral Commission before setting the date for
a Scottish Parliament election that has been postponed
reforms in relation to the Electoral Commission, to support the use of the new
powers relating to elections devolved to the Scottish Parliament under the
Scotland Act 2016
provide for the Electoral Commission to prepare Codes of Practice to help
candidates, campaigners, observers and on issues like expenses and donations at
the functions of the Electoral Management Board for Scotland to cover Scottish
- Changes to the way the
Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland carries out its work
How to submit your
deadline for responses is 7 November
should send your response in an email to the following address – [email protected]
response does not need to cover all of the areas identified above and can just
focus on those that are relevant to you or your organisation. Also, you are
welcome to provide other information that you feel would be relevant.
welcome written views in English, Gaelic, Scots or any other language.
possible, we would be grateful if you could keep your submission to a maximum
of 4 sides of A4. There’s no minimum length – emails of just one or two lines
are perfectly acceptable.
to the time required to process and analyse views, late responses will only be
accepted with the agreement of the Committee.
making a response, please read our privacy
notice about submitting your views to a Committee. This tells you
about how we process your personal data.
most cases your response will be published on the Scottish Parliament’s website
and may be quoted in the Committee’s report or in Committee meetings (which are
public and broadcast).
you wish to request that your response be published without your name, please
contact us at [email protected]
or on 0131 348 6924.
Thank you for taking
the time to provide your views.