Freedom of information request response - 06267
I am a research associate with the3million, a campaign for the rights of EU27 citizens in the UK. In this capacity I am collecting and analysing information related to difficulties EU citizens had to register to vote in the recent European elections last May, which resulted in some being turned away from polling stations on the election day.
Our initial research indicates these problems were caused by the statutory voter registration process (i.e. the requirement of a separate UC1 form, and the fact the form is only valid for 12 months). The aim of our this enquiry is to gain a better understanding of the scale of this process across the country.
Therefore, I am writing to you under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to request the following information from your Electoral Registration Office:
- The number of EU27 citizens resident in the local authority’s area who were on the electoral register on 7 May 2019 (or as near that date as possible) broken down by the country of citizenship (if possible).
- The number of EU27 citizens who voted in the 2019 European Parliament Election.
- The dates when the responsible officers started and finished posting UC1/EC6 forms.
- The number of UC1/EC6 forms posted between these dates.
- Were prepaid envelopes included with UC1/EC6 forms, and if so was it 1st or 2nd class post?
- Did the responsible officers accept UC1/EC6 forms sent by email?
- The number of UC1/EC6 forms returned before the deadline of 7th May?
- The number of UC1/EC6 forms returned after the deadline of 7th May and accepted, if any?
- The number of UC1/EC6 forms returned after the deadline and not accepted (that is, where electors were not registered).
- What was the number of complaints (if any) received in relation to UC1/EC6 form and / or registration of EU27 citizens for European elections?
- How was the data gathered from UC1/EC6 registration forms shared with the Secretary of State, Electoral Commission and / or other EU member states?
- When was the data gathered from UC1/EC6 registration forms in respect of this election shared with the Secretary of State, Electoral Commission and / or other EU member states?
- Please provide a breakdown of all UC1/EC6 forms you received by the country of citizenship.
- Do you still hold data that would allow you to answer the above questions in relation to the 2014 European Parliament elections?
- If an EU national was registered to vote in your local authority area by 7 May 2019 but has not returned a UC1/EC6 form before that date, or such a form has been returned but has not been processed, what prevented you from allowing them to vote provided a UC1/EC6 form is returned by the close of the poll?
Please note that we will not be treating this as a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act, as the Electoral Registration Officer’s role falls outside of the legislation.
A colleague from our Elections team will be in touch with you in connection with your request, in the course of their normal business.
The Registration of Electors is governed by the Representation of the People Act 1983 as amended. Under Section 8 of the Act, a council must appoint one of its officers to be the Registration Officer for any constituency or part of a constituency coterminous with or situated within the council's area. Any appointment as Electoral Registration Officer is separate to any other appointment and although appointed by the council, the Electoral Registration Officer's responsibilities and duties are personal. An example of this is that the Register of Electors is deemed to be the property of the Electoral Registration Officer, not the local authority. The Electoral Registration Officer does not carry out the duties on behalf of the local authority but in his own personal capacity.
The Freedom of Information Act does not list any person appointed under the Representation of the People Act 1983. It follows that the Electoral Registration Officer, Returning Officer or any other person appointed under the Act are not subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.