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Elliott Demands Action To Ensure Accuracy Of Electoral Register


Ulster Unionist Assembly member for Fermanagh & South Tyrone, Tom Elliott, has demanded action be taken by the Electoral Office to address the findings of The Electoral Commission that one in five entries in the Electoral Register are inaccurate and that 400,000 people are not registered at their correct address.

Tom said: “As we await the publication of the new electoral register at the beginning of December 2012 and with impending elections in 2014 for European Parliament and the prospect of new Council elections, it is imperative that urgent action is taken by Electoral Office to ensure that we have an accurate register.

"The present system is clearly not working, the process of continuous registration is unwieldy and is contributing to a poor take up rate. If we wish to preserve proper democracy it is imperative that an accurate register is in place. The findings of the Electoral Commission would indicate that we have over 20,000 people in each constituency in Northern Ireland not correctly registered.

The decline in the accuracy of the electoral register from 2008 which showed 83% complete and 94% accurate, to the current level of in April 2012 which was only 71% complete and 78% accurate,  is clearly not acceptable and the Electoral Office must implement the series of actions recommended by Electoral Commission.

"In County Fermanagh the Council are soon to implement a new rural addressing system with new road names and numbers. This decision, which is very much welcomed by the vast majority of people may cause confusion between current addresses and the individual's new address.

"In preparation for this move I have recently written to the Chief Electoral Officer requesting that he conduct a full canvass, to not only help resolve the potential confusion that is almost likely to occur in Fermanagh but to improve the overall inaccuracies that are now obvious throughout Northern Ireland.

"A full canvass should be considered before any elections in 2014 and indeed the Electoral Office should request this of the Secretary of State.  

"I would ask everyone to check the new register published on 3 December 2012 to establish that they are correctly registered to vote, and if they are not, to take immediate action to address this.”

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