Governance and performance

The Electoral Reform Society is a democratic membership organisation dedicated to building a better democracy

Aims and objectives

According to the Society’s Articles of Association and Bye laws the objects of the Society are:

To secure the adoption of the principle of proportional representation by the method of the single transferable vote (preferential voting with quota counting) in elections in the British Isles and elsewhere for parliaments, provincial, regional and local authorities, other public and semi-public bodies and for officers and governing bodies corporate or unincorporate; and to facilitate development, improvement and mechanisation of the techniques associated therewith;

To advocate and support other measures, not being inconsistent with the above which are conducive to:

  1. Strengthening democratic governance
  2. Maximising voter participation
  3. Ensuring that elections are conducted according to standards of fairness and equality, and that counting processes are transparent and open to scrutiny
  4. Ensuring that electoral processes are regulated so that no interest is able to secure an unfair advantage; and/or
  5. Implementing internationally accepted standards of electoral practice; and
  6. To advance the study of electoral science.
Articles of Association and Byelaws


The Electoral Reform Society (ERS) is an independent campaigning organisation working to build a better democracy. ERS holds a minority shareholding in Electoral Reform Services Limited, which runs ballots, conducts elections and provides related commercial services, but the two organisations are entirely operationally independent.

Electoral Reform Services Ltd (ERSL)

The UK’s leading independent supplier of ballot and election services; Electoral Reform Services Ltd, is the Electoral Reform Society’s main funding source in the form of an annual dividend.

ERSL’s work includes organising and administering ballots, elections and referendums impartially and independently of any government, political party or other influence. Together with its specialist subsidiary businesses, Membership Engagement Services ( and Xpress Software Solutions (, the group works to enrich democracy through facilitating meaningful research, communication and engagement.

For more information visit their website at

ERS Accounts 2017


The Society is a membership organisation driven by the commitment of thousands of members and supporters, governed by a Council of 15 who are democratically elected by our members under the Single Transferable Vote.

On 14 July 2012, the Society voted with 78.7% to adopt a refreshed set of Articles of Association and Byelaws.

The Council

The Council is the governing body of the Society, with ultimate responsibility for its governance and strategic direction. The Council consists of 15 directors, elected every other year. All ERS members (other than members who are also members of staff) are allowed to stand for election to Council.

Members of the Council elect five Officers via the Alternative Vote, (Chair, Vice Chair (Management), Treasurer, Deputy Chair (Group Relations) and Deputy Chair (Campaigns and Research), who have particular areas of strategic focus.

The Council meets four times a year, working with the Senior Management Team to make decisions on policy, strategy and governance issues. Find out more about our Council.

The Senior Management Team

The Council delegates responsibility for the day-to-day management of the Society to the Chief Executive and Senior Management Team.

Articles of Association & Byelaws


Each year the Society publishes an Annual Report

ERS Annual Reports