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Study Notes

Electoral reform

AS, A-Level
AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB

Last updated 22 Mar 2021

Electoral reform is where the electoral systems we use to help the public express their desires in elections are improved.

The most prominent form of electoral reform is where the voting system (how votes are translated into seats) is changed. This might involve, in the UK, changing the voting system for Westminster General Elections from First-Past-the-Post (FPTP), to a more proportionally representative system to help seats in Parliament more fairly represent the votes cast.

However, electoral reform is wider than just the voting system. It also includes looking to improve vote-counting procedures, eligibility to vote, constituency boundaries, the safety of voters and election workers, the financing of election and referendum campaigns, how the ballots are designed and what voting equipment is used and how candidates and political parties can be nominated and get their names onto ballots.

In the UK, the pressure group most associated with pushing for improvements in the way our elections are run is the Electoral Reform Society.

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