Since introducing Individual Voter Registration (IVR), it has been reported that around 5.5 million people are missing from the Electoral Register and may be unable to vote in the General Election.
Under the new system, eligible citizens are required to register to vote individually rather the “head of the household” registering everyone at an address.
This change led to new responsibilities for Electoral Registration Officers (EROs), who told the IT publication that Cabinet Office had ignored warnings the pilots produced.
EROs need more resources to fulfil the legal burden of IVR as they are now required to verify information that was previously taken on trust.
In October, the Electoral Commission claimed that 5.5 million voters were now missing from the register.
When the new Individual Electoral Registration (IER) system went live, problems began appearing right away.
Reports claim that ineligible people, such as five year old children, had someone become registered to vote while those who were eligible, were not registered.
Many also complained about the ambiguous nature of the programme, as it did not make it clear that you were applying to be registered, rather than actually being registered at the time.
Users are not officially registered to vote after using IER until they receive a letter from their local authority confirming their application has been successful a few weeks later.
Despite these known issues, the Electoral Register is still campaigning to get people to register to vote in time for May’s General Election before the April deadline.