Tag Archives: electoral registration

Lord Tony Greaves calls for action to register young people and ex-pats for the referendum

Liberal Democrat peer Lord Tony Greaves used the committee stage of the European Union Referendum Bill to press the government to sort out the voting system for people living in other European countries who may be at risk of losing their chance to vote in the Referendum which is due before the end of 2017 and perhaps as early as June next year – together with some in the UK itself.

Sounds simple enough, although in this year’s general election the system had a shortfall of several million UK citizens living abroad who were eligible to vote but could not physically do so due to administrative problems in getting registered, being correctly identified and actually receiving the postal ballot paper itself.

Out of more than two million UK nationals living in EU countries, only 100,000 were able to successfully vote in this year’s general election. Lord Greaves said:

If only 100,000 were able to be on the register for the general election, clearly, the system up to now has not worked – even though the figure was increased by three times. Three times not many is still not many.

He moved an amendment to the Bill to make sure that the Electoral Commission makes special efforts to get votes on the register once the date is known – both British citizens living in the EU and those who will be missed off the register when the new system of individual registration starts a year early (something the Liberal Democrats in the Lords tried to stop and failed by just 11 votes the previous week).

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 26 Comments

House of Lords has a chance to stand up for democracy

 

Today’s vote in the House of Lords on tax credits has rightly attracted much media attention, but tomorrow a further vote on the subject of electoral registration also deserves serious attention.

In an act of immense arrogance the Government is planning to ignore the clear advice of the independent Electoral Commission and remove hundreds of thousands of people from the electoral register by the end of the year, a full year earlier than originally set out in the current legislation.  Young people and people living in private rented accommodation will be disproportionately affected by the Government’s proposals.

Posted in Op-eds | 12 Comments

Individual electoral registration: Northern Ireland shows that the annual canvass must be kept

Electoral Commission logoOne of the key disputes over how individual electoral registration should be introduced in England, Scotland and Wales is whether having people join and leave the register regularly through the year, alongside better use of other information about people moving (e.g. prompting people who take out a new TV license to register), would mean that the once-a-year check on all addresses – the ‘annual canvass’ – can be dropped.

The Electoral Commission has just published the results of its research into how individual electoral registration has

Posted in Election law and News | Also tagged , and | 5 Comments

LibLink: Mark Pack – Give people power over the sharing of their data

The Voice‘s Mark Pack has been writing about individual electoral registration for the IPPR’s website:

If I were to move, I would be quite happy to let the gas company, the TV Licensing authority, the local council’s tax department, the electoral registration services and many others know, all in one go.

Posted in Election law and LibLink | Leave a comment

Chris Rennard writes: How can we make sure that people can vote?

Just before the Summer recess, the House of Lords began formal consideration of the hugely significant Electoral Registration and Administration Bill. Among other things this introduces Individual Electoral Registration (IER) for Great Britain. The system has been in operation in Northern Ireland since 2002.

I was closely in involved in working with other Liberal Democrats to change the proposals first put forward in the Government’s white paper which could have had the effect of significantly reducing the levels of voter registration in Great Britain. Mark Williams wrote about them

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 11 Comments

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”.

Posted in Election law | Also tagged | 2 Comments

Government publishes implementation plan for individual electoral registration

Cabinet Office logoThis week the Cabinet Office has published its detailed implementation plan for the introduction of individual electoral registration in England, Scotland and Wales. (Northern Ireland already uses it.)

Individual electoral registration has long been pushed for by the Electoral Commission and supported by all three of the main political parties. However, getting the details right is important as this is one of those issues where the administrative details can completely wreck the policy if got wrong.

Posted in Election law and News | Also tagged | 3 Comments
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