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Electoral Registration

Volume 457: debated on Tuesday 6 March 2007

24. To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what measures her Department is taking to encourage the registration of electors. (125136)

The Electoral Administration Act 2006 introduced a range of provisions to help increase registration rates. These included:

a duty for Electoral Registration Officer to undertake all necessary steps to maintain the electoral register;

a duty to encourage participation in the electoral process; and

allowing electors to register up to 11 days before an election.

I am pleased to say that figures recently released by the Office for National Statistics show that the number of registered electors in the UK has increased by just over 370,000.

26. To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many eligible voters are estimated to be missing from the electoral register in Bolton, South-East constituency. (125138)

We are not able to collect reliable statistics on under-registration. However, it is possible to estimate the number of people not registered in Bolton local authority at 8,000. However, this statistic is misleading, as it does not discount residents who are not eligible to vote.

Recent ONS statistics indicate that the number of registered people in Bolton local authority has risen by 2 per cent. between December 2005 and December 2006. This equates to an additional 4,354 people on the register this year.

The Electoral Commission estimates that 3.5 million people who are eligible to vote were missing from the register across England and Wales in 2000.