Electoral Register

(asked on 30th November 2020) - View Source

Question to the Cabinet Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Lord True on 26 November (HL Deb, col 397), what plans they have to provide a link to the online electoral registration process to those people provided with National Insurance numbers over the last two years in time for those people to register in time for the elections scheduled in May 2021; and what assessment they have made of the impact of such provision on the registration levels for that group.

Answered by
Lord True Portrait
Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
This question was answered on 14th December 2020

Electoral Registration Officers (EROs) have the statutory responsibility for maintaining complete and accurate registers for their areas. The Government’s role is to ensure EROs have the tools they need to do their jobs efficiently and effectively. This includes, for example, the recent changes to the annual canvass in Great Britain which will improve its overall efficiency considerably which will allow EROs to focus their efforts on hard to reach groups, and play an important role in helping to maintain register accuracy and completeness.

As it stands, National Insurance Number letters issued by HM Revenue and Customs state that you need your National Insurance Number to register to vote. Cabinet Office officials are in discussions with colleagues in HMRC regarding what further information could be included to help inform individuals about the registration process, and if it may be clarified.

The Government is committed to making registration as easy as possible and we encourage everyone who is eligible to register to vote.

Responsibility for the design of electoral registration forms, including the Invitation to Register form and all Canvass Communications lies with the Electoral Commission, with the Government providing final approval. The Electoral Commission undertakes extensive user testing of the forms to ensure they are as effective as possible at eliciting the appropriate response. Cabinet Office officials are regularly consulted by the Electoral Commission during the design stages of any new forms and also when changes are proposed to existing forms.

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