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Wales passes landmark Bill to introduce automatic registration of electors and to modernise electoral administration

The Elections and Elected Bodies (Wales) Bill, which was first introduced to the Senedd in October 2023, has yesterday (09 July 2024) been passed by the Welsh Parliament.

The Bill will remove barriers to democratic engagement and create a system of electoral administration fit for the 21st century, by:

  • 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;
  • establishing a new all-Wales body responsible for co-ordinating the effective administration of Welsh elections;
  • creating a new online voter information platform;
  • introducing 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.

The proposals complement the recent reforms to the Senedd and its electoral system made through the Senedd Cymru (Members and Elections) Act 2024.

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.

Yesterday, 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.

Channel website: http://gov.wales

Original article link: https://www.gov.wales/wales-passes-landmark-bill-introduce-automatic-registration-electors-and-modernise-electoral

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