The Electoral Registration and Administration Bill gets its second reading - the first chance for members to debate general aspects of the bill - in the House of Lords today (Tuesday 24 July)
About the Electoral Registration and Administration Bill
The bill was introduced in the Lords at first reading stage on 28 June. It focuses on the registration of electors and the administration and conduct of elections.
The first part of the bill relates to individual electoral registration. It includes proposals for a new system where each elector must apply individually to register to vote. The bill will create a legislative framework to allow alternative channels for registration, such as online.
The second part of the bill looks at the administration and conduct of elections. It aims to improve the way elections are run, increase voter participation and improve the integrity and robustness of the electoral system.
What is second reading stage?
The government minister, spokesperson or member of the Lords responsible for the bill opens the debate. Any member can speak in the debate so this stage can indicate those members particularly interested in the bill - or a particular aspect of it - and those who are most likely to be involved in amending the bill at later stages.
Next stage: Committee stage
After second reading the bill goes to committee stage where detailed line by line examination of the bill and discussion of amendments (changes) takes place.
It usually starts no later than two weeks after the second reading and can last for one to eight days or more.
The day before committee stage starts, amendments are published in a marshalled list (amendments on related subjects are grouped together).
During committee stage every clause of the bill has to be agreed to and votes on the amendments can take place. All proposed amendments can be discussed and there is no time limit, or guillotine, on discussion of amendments.