Thursday 11 April 2019 / 9:21 PM Cat Smith / Voter Engagement

Labour considering automatic voter registration

The Labour Party is considering adopting automatic voter registration as new policy and is examining different options across the world where automatic voter registration has successfully increased overall registration levels.

The announcement coincides with today’s final deadline for registering to vote in the local elections taking place on 2 May.

Cat Smith MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Voter Engagement, is looking at already established examples in Canada, Belgium and a number of other countries where they have successfully introduced a similar system. Under an automatic voter registration system, 93.8% of all eligible voters are included on the register in Canada.

There are an estimated 7 million people in the UK who are not on the electoral register.

Cat Smith MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Voter Engagement and Youth Affairs, said:

“Individual electoral registration has not achieved what we were told it would. Millions of people are still missing from the register, with disproportionately low levels of registration amongst mobile, marginalised and vulnerable voter groups.

“There are many successful examples around the world of automatic voter registration systems, so we are examining the use of government data to automatically place people on the electoral roll.

“We are committed to drastically increasing voter registration to ensure every eligible voter can have their say.”