Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Election Registration and October 

It is less disastrous than it used to be, but one disadvantage of holding an October election is that the annual review of the Electoral Register will be in full swing.

October 15th is of course the deadline date for voters to get annual registration documents returned. This is usually a peak work month for staff in Democratic Services departments in the principle Local Authorities. Could they cope with (say) a 28th October poll day as well?

Of course newly registered voters on this registration cycle come on the register on 1 January 2008 –or do they? This is the first time we have the possibility of an October G.E poll since the electoral registration process was modified to allow for late registrations after the annual date so I suspect there are a lot of rules that haven’t been called into force before. Would some annual registrations make it onto the GE register because submitted some weeks in advance of October 15th while others coming in nearer that deadline get excluded? Is there a possibility of some confusion?

Some areas of Milton Keynes have a 20% turnover in the electorate between Registry updates so this could have an impact on at least two marginal seats.

I hope we get some guidance from our National Agents on this.


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