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.
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