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Up to 2 million people risk dropping off the electoral register on 1 December

Up to 2 million people risk dropping off the electoral register on 1 December

On 1 December, if the Government gets its way, up to 2 million people will drop off the electoral register - in what will be the single biggest act of disenfranchisement in our history.

The voter drop off is happening because of the Government’s decision to bring forward the full introduction of Individual Electoral Registration (IER) by 12 months to 1 December 2015. Designed to reduce fraud and make the electoral register more accurate, anyone whose details have not been matched with HMRC and DWP records has been asked to re-register, but this time by providing their National Insurance number.

Councils have been done their best to re-register the five million people whose data could not be matched but it is the 1.9 million who have not yet re-registered who will now drop off in December.

New voters were also required to register individually, thus ending the system whereby one person in the household could register everyone else.

The near 2 million lost voters will be added to the 8 million eligible adults the Electoral Commission already believes are not on the electoral register. This equates to 19% of eligible adults not having the vote.

Councils initially had until December 2016 to get these voters re-registered but a day before Parliament broke up in the summer the Government announced its intention to bring forward the implementation of IER by 12 months.

It is hard not to connect this move with the Boundary Review, which will determine the parliamentary boundaries for the next General Election, that is due to begin in April and will be based on the 1 December electoral register.

With a disproportionate number of those dropping off being from poorer and non-white communities in urban areas, (as opposed to more settled communities in the suburbs and more affluent towns) there are inevitable concerns that the new boundaries, based on an under-representation of specific demographics, will undermine confidence in the robustness of our democracy in future General Elections.

HOPE not hate is joining with a broad range of organisations to make November our Voter Registration month and we are inviting you to get involved. Whether you are an individual who wants to join one of our Voter Registration drives, a member of a faith or community group who wants to promote voter sign-up in their networks or a local councillor who wants to increase the electorate in his or her ward, we can help.
By signing up to our November Voter drive we can supply you with the tools you need to run a successful voter drive.

Whatever time or resources you have, we ask you to support our Voter Registration and do whatever you can to register people to vote.

Get involved in the thunderclap for HOPE not hate here.

Register to vote here.

Tags: politics.

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