Local authorities in Humber have been given more than £324,000 to help pay for a ground-breaking change that will make the Electoral Register more accurate and secure.
The Government has given this money to help local authorities with the extra costs involved with switching to Individual Electoral Registration, which up to this point were funded through existing electoral budgets.
A national formula has been used to calculate what each area needs to cover the cost of the data matching process that will ensure the vast majority of the population will transfer automatically onto the new electoral register. It will also cover other costs such as writing to people to tell them they will need to register. For Humber, the breakdown is as follows:
East Riding of Yorkshire £89,621
Kingston upon Hull £141,970
North East Lincolnshire £53,048
North Lincolnshire £39,455
This is all part of the Government’s drive to improve public confidence in our elections and, along with the introduction of online registration, make the process of registering to vote easier and more convenient.
Greg Clark, Minister for Cities and the Constitution, said:
“We are on track to modernise electoral registration to tackle electoral fraud and increase public trust in elections - a trust which is at the heart of our democracy.
“Next year’s switch to individual electoral registration can only be achieved by central and local government across Yorkshire and the Humber working together, and the funding announced today is the latest step in this process to make sure our electoral register is as complete and accurate as it can be.”
The new system of registering to vote will mean an end to the current forms, where the “head of the household” fills in the names of everyone eligible to vote. Next summer everyone will take individual responsibility for registering and online registration will be available, making registration more secure and convenient.
Humber region’s local authorities have been working hard with central Government for the past three years to develop and test systems for the major change next year. The new funding announced today has been agreed with local authorities to cover the extra expense the change may incur.
Most people will not have to do anything when the new system comes in thanks to the process of “data matching”, where the current electoral register will be matched against other public databases. A dry run of the system carried out across the country over the summer suggested that an average of 78% of people will be matched in this way and will be on the electoral roll automatically, without needing to register. The rest will receive a letter and a visit from local authorities during the canvass.