Archive for Individual Voter Registration

Is the 2015 General Election being rigged?

Posted in Brighton, Politics with tags , , , , on February 14, 2015 by telescoper

Just a few months ahead of the 2015 General Election (and some council elections, including here in Brighton) there’s something very worrying going on with the whole electoral process. For the 2014 European Parliament Elections last year I was on the electoral roll and used my vote as normal. However, last last year I discovered to my horror that I had been removed from the register here in Brighton. When I asked why, I was told by Brighton and Hove City Council (local councils oversee the election process) that I had to register afresh if I wanted to vote this May and that to do this I would have to supply personal details such as my National Insurance Number. This despite the fact that I have been resident at the same address in Brighton and have paid Council Tax at that address for two years.  I had received no communication from anyone to warn me that I was being removed from the elctoral roll and, as far as I’m aware, had I not asked I simply would not have been able to vote in the forthcoming elections.

I assumed that this was just some sort of administrative error, but I have since heard from many other people who have similarly been summarily kicked off the electoral roll for no obvious reason. One has to be wary of anecdotal evidence about things like this, but the issue seems to be a national one, related to a botched attempt to move to individual voter registration, as opposed to registration associated with a residential address. People move around much more than houses do, so there is much more information to track. The new system has been rushed through without the resources needed to support the vastly increased complexity of keeping track of individuals. For the 2015 elections over a million people who should be eligible to vote will will be absent from the electoral register, and this will mostly be the young and mobile (including students) and those in private rented accommodation in urban areas. The potential inlfluence of this effective disenfranchisement on the election result is obvious.

The more I read about this the more alarmed I have become. I am really starting to believe that this is a cynical attempt by vested interests to manipulate the outcome of the General Election, which will hinge on a relatively small number of key marginal seats where the votes of students and other young people could be crucial. It looks very sinister.

Anyone else had trouble getting on the Electoral Register? Please let me know through the Comments Box.