Preparing for future elections
The Electoral Commission’s report on the 2020 General Election has been tabled in Parliament and includes 40 recommendations to improve the delivery of future elections.
‘In 2020 we delivered a particularly complex election and two referendums. Despite the challenges of last year, we saw the highest turnout since 1999, with 2.92m people voting. 3.55m people were enrolled, the highest since 2008,’ says Alicia Wright, Chief Electoral Officer.
‘Two out of three people (68%) voted in advance and to support this growth in early voting, we’d like Parliament to consider adding a minimum advance voting period to the Electoral Act.’
The COVID-19 pandemic presented challenges for planning and delivery of the 2020 election. Changes were made to voting services across the country, with public health measures to help protect voters and staff.
‘2020 has taught us that we have to be prepared to respond to changing or unforeseen circumstances and be able to modify our plans at a late stage. We’re asking Parliament to look at the emergency provisions in the Electoral Act including the methods of voting that can be used and the provisions to adjourn voting,’ says Alicia Wright.
A range of technical recommendations have also been made to modernise and improve vote issuing and processing, and to allow more digital communications with voters, for example by email rather than post.