How many people are on the electoral register who shouldn’t be?

The Daily Express reports:

[Conservative MP for Enfield North] Nick de Bois cross-checked the names of constituents seeking his help to stay in the UK and found 21 out of a sample 100 had signed up for voting rights.

The Tory backbencher is calling on ministers to tighten registration rules, claiming it is harder to get a library card than a ballot paper…

The MP said some people get on the electoral roll just to obtain credit cards or commit financial fraud.

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

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10 Comments

  • And how many people are not on the register who should be?

  • David from Ealing 5th May '12 - 5:30pm

    I still find it amazing that you can turn up to vote and just say you’re so and so and be handed a ballot paper.

  • Rebecca Taylor 5th May '12 - 7:22pm

    @David – in most European countries it’s necessary to show ID to be able to vote. For example, when I lived in Belgium, I voted in the local elections and had to show my residence card (an ID card with a photo issued by the local council to all EU residents).

    Despite having to show ID for many things e.g. Buying/renting a property, getting a job, opening a bank account, many people still think that we live in a country where we don’t need ID (NB: i’m not saying we need ID cards!) and I’m sure many people would complain if they had to show ID to vote.

  • I have to say I agree with David from Ealing. I think that one should have to produce some piece of ID when going to vote.

    And postal voting needs to be massively tightened up. Instead of postal voting, people who will be away shld instead be able to drop their vote off at a local library or council office up to a week or so ahead of polling day instead – and again ID shld be required.

  • But what constitutes ID? Can’t be passport or driving licence as they cost.

    What else then – bank statment or utility bill. Well (a) those are easy to give to a personator and (b) are increasingly harder to come by with some many accounts being done online.

    Isn’t this an rather strange claim anyway. If people are in this country legitimately (eg asylum entrants or people on work visas wanting them extended) and are seeking help to remain here they may be qualified to register to vote (certainly in some elections) in any case.

  • Individual registration will go some way to helping with this. But perhaps poll cards, which are almost always issued should be required to be produced, along with another piece of ID.

    The poll card could then be taken from the voter so it can’t be re-used. Next step would then be to put the poll card into a tombola, the winner in each polling station getting something worthwhile.. (..suggestions?)

  • In Manchester you can be dead for years and still be on the electoral register! ‘Arise and vote’ seem to be the watchwords of our council. Very democratic, to say the least.

  • The switch to individual registration is being touted as the answer to electoral fraud. So where are the figures relating to this, the open analysis based on actual numbers of fraudulently cast votes, along with the percentage of votes which are fraudulent?

    Ah, they haven’t shown us any. Couldn’t be because electoral fraud is statistically negligible, could it? I mean, that would call into question the basis for this change to electoral registration. Wouldn’t it?

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