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Speculation has it that an early general election is around the corner.

If it does come, it won’t be the first time that we’ve had an unexpected election this year.  The European Parliamentary elections were not supposed to happen.  But happen they did, only weeks after local elections.

They didn’t go to plan.  There were angry scenes at many polling stations when many EU citizens were denied their right to vote. The government faces a judicial review after action taken by the3million against them claiming EU citizens were ‘systematically disenfranchised’.

Electoral officials on the ground have done an outstanding job in recent years at operating under a perfect storm of pressures, which are gathering pace, and putting the functioning of the system under threat.  Sticking plasters have papered over cracks in a Victorian system in need of repair, but there is a risk that the banks could break.

In a new report from myself, Bite the Ballot and Alistair Clark with the All Parliamentary Party Group on Democratic Participation, we set out 21 recommendations for a long-term vision of electoral modernisation in the UK.

Please spread the word!

3 thoughts on “Missing Millions, Still Missing: New Reporting

  1. While it is good to see some of these issues raised, I might take issue with some of the language and implicit assumptions! In particular I raised an eyebrow at some of the assertions which certainly need some context. For example it is not a problem if someone is turned away from a polling place because they are not on the register. That is wholly correct. You can’t vote if you are not in the electorate. The problem to address is at registration in the completeness and accuracy of the register. I don’t want to encourage people to just roll up and expect to vote and then complain if they can’t. It’s too late then.

    Similarly it is hard to draw conclusions about “deniedmyvote” in May. Statistics need to analysed but the figures of G/K voters and the ratios were not much different from 2014 as far as I am aware. Indeed with the prospect of Brexit many EU citizens may have chosen not to vote in the UK.

    The systems needs to improve in lots of ways but we also want to maintain people’s confidence in it and understanding of the basics. Often people complain and assume conspiracy or lack of integrity rather than a lack of understanding of the rules.

    It is great to see you acknowledge how hard working election administrators are and how underfunded the who enterprise is. Thank you for your support.

    I would – as ever – be happy to discuss these issues!

  2. Hi Chris!

    Thanks ever so much for your comments, which are very helpful!

    I entirely agree – if someone asks to vote at a polling station and they are not on the register, then polling officials are doing exactly as they should. And electoral officials have done an outstanding and largely unrecognised job under very difficult conditions, as the report describes.

    The problem is indeed to address completeness and accuracy of the register, and the recommendations are set out with that in mind. There is re recurrent issue, however, with citizens thinking that they are on the register because they interact with government services in many other ways. The public are obviously much less interested in electoral registration issues as we are!

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