electoral commission

Government 'putting a lot of faith' in data matching schemes which 'need further testing'

1st March 2012
1 Mar 2012
Tags: 
individual electoral registration
ier
data matching
electoral commission
voter registration

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Government 'putting a lot of faith' in data matching schemes which 'need further testing'

The Electoral Commission today published their evaluation report on the Government's proposed data matching schemes which aim to improve the accuracy and completeness of electoral registers.

The scheme has been proposed as a way of facilitating the move to Individual Electoral Registration by automatically registering under the new system those of us whose data can be confirmed through other government records such as DWP data.

Katie Ghose, Electoral Reform Society says:

The Electoral Commission's report on data matching confirms much of what we already know: that it would involve a huge amount of local authority staff time and will do nothing to identify those missing from the register.

What we don’t know is what data matching will cost and how it will be managed at a local level.

The government are looking for a quick fix to address widespread concerns over the huge drop-off in registered voters predicted for the switch to IER. Data matching is not it. Even in a best case scenario, it will do nothing to increase registration and it seems that the government is putting a lot of faith in a process that the Electoral Commission says needs further testing.

ENDS

Download Electoral Commission evaluation report: http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/146836/Data-matching-pilot-evaluation.pdf

Notes to Editors

  1. The Electoral Reform Society is an independent campaigning organisation working to champion the rights of voters and improve UK democracy. Find out more at www.electoral-reform.org.uk
  2. In October 2011 the Electoral Reform Society organised a cross-party roundtable which included local and national officials working on registration, and key organisations representing groups facing exclusion from the register. The report Missing Millions is available to download.
  3. For further information see www.electoral-reform.org.uk/IER/