Millions of eligible voters may be missing from electoral registers, a Lords report has warned today.
The report from the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 Committee finds the completeness of registers has not improved in the past seven years, which risks damaging the integrity of elections.
It calls on the Government to modernise registration by introducing ‘assisted registration’ to prompt eligible voters to register when accessing other public services and automatic registration for young people coming of age.
Lord Shutt of Greetland, the chair of the committee, said: ‘Millions of voters may still be missing from electoral registers. The Act has helped to make registers more accurate but they remain significantly incomplete. This is particularly the case with under-registered groups such as young people, frequent home movers, care home residents and people from BAME backgrounds. Incomplete registers can only be damaging to the integrity of elections. Urgent steps must be taken to address this.’
The report also argues local authorities should be compensated for the cost of registration activity during elections and ensure voter ID plans are implemented fairly.
Ailsa Irvine, director of electoral adminstration and guidance at the Electoral Commission, said: 'Whilst positive reforms to the annual canvass in Great Britain are currently underway, further, more fundamental changes to the framework could make registration easier for everyone – particularly groups who are less likely to be registered, such as young people and private renters.'