Latest Public Sector News

11.06.14

Transition to Individual Electoral Registration begins

The biggest change to electoral registration in almost 100 years is underway with the start of the transition to Individual Electoral Registration (IER) and online registering. 

The new initiative will replace the current system where one person in each household registers everyone to vote with a requirement for people to register individually. 

According to the Electoral Commission, the new system will be much more straightforward with online registration giving them a “quick, easy and convenient option”. 

The online registration service has been extensively tested with real users over many months and will be compatible with all platforms, including smartphones and tablets, to make it easy for everyone to register. Under IER, and online registering, anyone applying to be on the electoral register will now need to provide their date of birth and National Insurance number in addition to their name and address. 

Minister of state at the Cabinet Office Greg Clark said: “This service will bring voter registration into the 21st century and make it easier, simpler and faster for people to register to vote. 

“Putting public services online is saving taxpayers money and giving people access to services when and where they need them.” 

From July, Electoral Registration Officers will write to each elector to tell them about the change to the registration system and what action, if any, they need to take. Around 80% of people who are registered to vote at the moment will transfer automatically to the new system and won’t need to take any action. 

The Commission will also launch an advertising campaign on 3 July to remind people to look out for their letter from their local authority telling them about the change to the registration system. 

Jenny Watson, chair of the Electoral Commission, said: “Online electoral registration is a huge step forward in meeting people’s needs. Previously we either had to telephone our local authority and ask them to send a form, or we could download a copy, fill it in and send it to the Electoral Registration Officer. 

“The new system will be much more straightforward. People deserve more choice about how they register to vote and online registration gives them a quick, easy and convenient option.” 

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