Online electoral registration: not quite as novel at it sounds

Earlier this month Harrow Council caught the headlines for its new electoral registration system:

Harrow Council has become the first local authority in the country to take its electoral registration online.

As authorities across the country contact residents to ensure their details are added to the electoral register, Harrow will be asking people to respond to the annual canvass online.

The council said residents would be able confirm details “at the click of a button”, avoiding “cumbersome paper forms”. [Public Service; hat-tip: Toby James]


This is not quite as novel as it may sound, because for several years other councils have already being using  electronic ways of people confirming that their existing register details are correct and should be rolled over onto the new register.

Harrow is going one step further than this and its success will depend on three factors: how good the checks in the system are against someone sat at a computer creating numerous bogus entries (the plan to post out security codes does not necessarily protect against this as paperwork can be intercepted, as has happened in cases of postal voting fraud); how good the audit trail is of who did what and when so that suspicions can be properly investigated; and the extent to which this is seen as a way of improving registration levels or of cutting budgets.

On the first two points, it is promising that the details of the scheme involve an extra level of security for people who want to change their details rather than simply confirm an existing register entry.

* Mark Pack has written 101 Ways To Win An Election and produces a monthly newsletter about the Liberal Democrats.

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in Election law.
Bookmark the web address for this page or use the short url http://ldv.org.uk/29629 for Twitter and emails.
Advert

2 Comments

  • Paul Bumstead 29th Jul '12 - 8:39pm

    As I see it the major problem with this is the fact that, on average, 20% of households do not have online access – it can aslo be suggested that 20% of these do not want it. How will Harrow Council ensure that everyone who wants to register to vote can do so?

  • Paul Bumstead

    If you follow the link, you’ll see they thought of that problem:
    “Those without access to the internet will still be able to use traditional paperwork.”

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDavid Howell 22nd Dec - 7:13pm
    Stephen W. Care to tell us why the SNP have quadrupled their membership since the referendum if what you say is so? Could it be...
  • User AvatarNick Collins 22nd Dec - 7:08pm
    Sorry, that should have read: 'Btw, RC, if you are "not afraid of standing up for the LibDems", why do you feel the need to...
  • User AvatarIan Stewart 22nd Dec - 7:07pm
    if being "normal" equates to having a LibDem council for a generation, then we should all aspire to be "normal"!
  • User AvatarNick Collins 22nd Dec - 7:05pm
    I forgot Major ; I dare say a lot of people do. Btw, RC, if you are "not afraid of standing up for the LibDems,...
  • User AvatarStephen W 22nd Dec - 6:29pm
    Alex Salmond will keep doing what he always has: lie, dissemble, distort and push relentlessly on. The SNP are ruthless politicians. They are not trying...
  • User AvatarGlenn 22nd Dec - 5:17pm
    To be honest, I kind of agree with May . Students are here to study not to be given a right to citizenship or get...
Wed 31st Dec 2014
Sat 3rd Jan 2015
Wed 14th Jan 2015
Thu 15th Jan 2015
Fri 16th Jan 2015