Elections: Petitions

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 22nd December 2020.

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Photo of Lord Hayward Lord Hayward Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the legislative framework governing the conduct of election petitions; and what plans they have, if any, to change any such framework.

Photo of Lord Hayward Lord Hayward Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the integrity of elections, and (2) the time taken to determine outcomes of disputed elections, in England.

Photo of Lord True Lord True Minister of State (Cabinet Office)

We have a robust electoral system that commands public confidence. Electoral fraud is unacceptable on any level and the Government committed in its 2019 manifesto to introduce a range of measures to strengthen further the electoral process, including introducing a requirement to show identification to vote at polling stations and tightening up postal vote provisions to close off opportunities for fraud in the system.

The current election petition process is designed to ensure certainty of election results and to avoid vexatious challenges by candidates or electors. The Government is aware that issues have been raised with the current challenge system, notably the high cost and complexity of the process, and will consider these matters further in consultation with stakeholders.

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