Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Good news of u-turn on voluntary electoral registration

Great news emerged last night that Nick Clegg has listened to the advice of the Electoral Commission and many others, including a large number of experts within his own party, on the subject of making electoral registration voluntary.

His proposal had been to withdraw the compulsion to register if you qualify. Combined with the move to individual registration, this would have saved a lot of money, but would also have seen the registration rate drop hugely. Already there are wide disparities with estimates in some inner city areas of rates of no more than 70%. We should be putting more money into this work, not less.

Individual registration is a good thing as it will help prevent fraud and it stops a person's ability to vote being dependent on someone else correctly filling in a form. But the move to cut compulsion was a massive step in the wrong direction.

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