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Electoral Register

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 2 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent steps the Government has taken to make voter registration more accessible. (198123)

The Electoral Administration Act 2006 (EA Act) introduced a number of new provisions to make electoral registration more accessible and to enhance the accuracy of the electoral register. These have included:

Imposing a new duty on electoral registration officers to take all necessary steps, such as sending the canvass form more than once, making house to house inquiries and promoting registration; and

Increasing the time available for electoral registration to 11 days prior to polling day.

The Office for National Statistics has recently published electoral registration rates for the UK and as of the 1 December 2007:

The number of parliamentary electors grew by 307,669 to 45,082,854; and

The number of local government electors grew by 463,340 to 45,920,503.

In addition, Section 67 of the EA Act requires the Electoral Commission to set and monitor performance standards for electoral services and this will also provide more information about electoral registration and help share best practice.

In light of the Slough Judgment concerning electoral fraud, the Government are currently considering the effectiveness of the new measures and are keeping electoral registration under review to identify initiatives that will further ensure the accuracy and integrity of the electoral register.