Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Six million un-registered voters

The latest report by the Electoral Commission on the number of un-registered voters makes sobering reading. It also highlights why we desperately need to retain the annual canvass system and beef up the work done to ensure that everyone entitled to does register to vote.

According to the elections watchdog, there are as many as 6 million people allowed to register but who have not done so. Among the worst affected groups are 19-24 year olds (of whom 44% are not registered) and those who have moved house recently (of whom just 14% are registered).

The switch to individual registration is right because it will help to stamp out fraud, but it needs to be backed up by work to make sure that people register and, key to this, is the annual canvass. Stopping this the year before a general election will have a huge impact on the resulting poll.

The Electoral Reform Society comment on the issue is here and they have got it absolutely right.

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