The United Kingdom Parliament

07/08/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/07/2020 17:11

Millions of voters may still be missing from the electoral registers, warns Lords Committee

'Millions of voters may still be missing from electoral registers. The Act has helped to make registers more accurate but they remain significantly incomplete. This is particularly the case with under-registered groups such as young people, frequent home movers, care home residents and people from BAME backgrounds. Incomplete registers can only be damaging to the integrity of elections. Urgent steps must be taken to address this.

'The success of our elections is often down to the sheer hard work and dedication of administrators working round the clock. These administrators are not helped by the burdens placed on them by the current system, particularly the extremely tight deadlines they work to.

'To help improve registers and ease the administrative burden, Government must take further steps to modernise the system. This includes automatic registration for young people joining registers as they come of age, assisted registration to prompt eligible voters to register when accessing other public services, and an online registration checking tool.

'The annual canvass is expensive, cumbersome and confusing. A lot of time is spent confirming the details of people whose situation has not changed. We welcome the reforms to simplify the process, but they should go further.

'The Committee also shared the Law Commissions' view on the need for the overall reform and streamlining of electoral law. We urge the Government to adopt its proposals at the earliest opportunity.'