Rachael Maskell MP for York Central, is leading the campaign in York to make residents aware that the way we register to vote is changing.
The upcoming changes will mean that nationally, up to 1.9 million people are set to fall off the electoral register in December. This is as a result of the way we register to vote moving from the old household survey method of electoral registration, to a new method of individual registration.
These changes to the system are being carried out by the government one year earlier than originally planned, even against the advice of the Electoral Commission, who as the authoritative body, has said that the new system should not be introduced for a further year. This means not enough time has being allowed for the switch over to be implemented properly, which could result in up to 1.9 million people being taken off the electoral register this year.
The Electoral Commission's analysis shows that "areas with a high concentration of certain demographics – students, private renters and especially young adults" – are particularly in danger of having low registration numbers, resulting in unrepresentative electoral registers.
Next year, York will go to the ballot box for the Police and Crime Commissioner election and soon there will be the referendum on whether Britain stays in the European Union. Residents must be registered if they want to have their say and vote in these important upcoming elections.
Registering to vote is quick and easy and takes just a couple of minutes. You will need your National Insurance number and can register at gov.uk/register-to-vote
Rachael Maskell, Labour’s MP for York Central says:
“The Tories have rushed through changes to the electoral registration system, and now around 1.9 million people are set to lose their votes, which is a massive threat to our democracy.”
“The decision to push through this change to the way we register to vote before December will affect areas with a high proportion of students, private renters, young adults and those most vulnerable to change in society.”
“Without a proper procedure to transfer everyone onto the new system we run the real risk of moving further towards only the relatively powerful in society left voting, and so our politics will become more likely to serve them and their interests, cutting the less fortunate out of the conversation. To exercise the right to vote is a key foundation of our democracy and I am extremely concerned that this fundamental human right is being undermined by this Government.”
“Soon we have a big choice to make about whether Britain stays in the EU. But if people aren’t on the electoral register, they will not be able to vote and have their say.”
“Not only does being on the electoral register mean you have the right to representation and for your voice to be heard but it is also essential in order to gain access to everyday services such as bank loans and changing your energy supplier. If you’re not on the electoral role, you may also find it harder to get a credit card, mobile phone contract or passport.”
“It is important that everyone in York registers to vote and has the opportunity to get their voice heard. It’s quick and easy - you can register in just a couple of minutes by going to gov.uk/register-to-vote.”