Wayne David MP, Labour’s Shadow Political and Constitutional Reform Minister, commenting on the report of the House of Commons Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee inquiry into the Government’s proposals for Individual Electoral Registration, said:
“The messages from this inquiry are loud and clear – the move to individual voter registration, a process which we first started and support, risks a sharp drop in the levels of those registered as a result of this Government’s current proposals. Millions of potential voters could go unregistered, and therefore unable to exercise their vote.
“We welcome the package of measures recommended in the report designed to counter this threat: ensuring it isn’t too easy for voters to opt-out, making it an offence not to return individual registration forms, undertaking an annual canvass in 2014 and ring-fencing funding supporting local authorities in the transition to individual registration.
“And, in order to ensure the next boundary review is on registration data which is as complete as possible, the Government must look at the report’s suggestion that the next proposed changes take place on the register from before or on General Election day 2015.
“We believe the Government must heed the advice of experts, and amend their proposals. Otherwise we risk a catastrophic collapse in the numbers of those registered to vote."