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Individual Electoral Registration

Volume 563: debated on Thursday 16 May 2013

1. What progress the Electoral Commission is making on preparations for the full confirmation test in the transition to individual electoral registration. (155324)

The Government, not the Electoral Commission, are responsible for the set-up and delivery of the full confirmation test, which is likely to start in July. The commission will be evaluating and reporting on the process and providing electoral registration officers with guidance and tools to support them in the test. The commission’s evaluation will focus on how the technical system for transferring and handling the data has performed and it will then make an overall assessment of whether everything is in place for the successful delivery of individual electoral registration in October.

Does the Electoral Commission agree that there is real concern out there about the IT system that is being used in the process of confirmation, and that it is very important to allow sufficient time for the transition to IER to ensure that things are done properly?

The hon. Gentleman raises an important point. The IT system is extremely important. That is why a full and proper assessment will be made in good time before IER is introduced in 2014. I remind him and the House that, in any event, at the 2015 election all those on the register in 2014 will be automatically transferred, so there is some safeguard.