David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, backed the Government’s plans to reform the electoral registration system during a House of Commons debate on Monday 16 January.
At present, electoral registration is undertaken by one person in each household, who completes the annual survey form sent by local Councils.
Following concerns about the accuracy of the register and the potential for abuse, Ministers propose to introduce an Individual Electoral Registration system, which will give each eligible voter the responsibility to register themselves.
The changes had cross-Party support when they were first proposed in 2009.
During his speech, Mr Evennett said:
“I believe that we should support all the principles behind individual elector registration. First, giving individuals control of their electoral registration is an important extension of the right to vote, individual responsibility and participatory democracy. Secondly, requiring electors to provide proof of identity will be an effective way of preventing fraud and anomalies in elections. Thirdly, we must prevent people from being added to the electoral roll who do not have the right to vote. Those are key questions that we are endeavouring to address through this reform.”
Outlining the need for reform, he added:
“I know that some people are left on the register when they have not returned a form, which is also a real concern. I have seen many cases of people being added to the register for a property they have moved into without the previous residents being crossed off. I regularly canvass across my constituency and I find at each session that many households in each road and block of flats are not on the register.”
The proposed changes will start to be made in 2014/5. The full text of the speech can be found here: http://is.gd/HQEOUY