The Ulster Unionist Party’s Environment spokesperson, Tom Elliott MLA, has expressed his concern at the low levels of registration by Northern Ireland voters.
Speaking following the release of the latest Electoral Office return of canvass forms today, Mr Elliott said
“I am extremely concerned at the data released by the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland which indicates that as of 24 October, 1,006,441 forms representing 71.59% of the estimated eligible electorate have been returned to the Electoral Office.
In other words, in the City of Belfast over 114,000 people are missing from the register, with the Province-wide figure amounting to almost 400,000 people missing.
In my own constituency of Fermanagh & South Tyrone, 59,234 have been added to the register from a potential electorate of 78,746, representing 75.42 per cent.
This isn’t far off the best in the Province which is Strangford, which has 53,900 out of a possible 70,409, or 76.3 per cent.
The most worrying figures are in South Belfast where 52,043 are registered out of a possible 92,532, or 62.58 per cent. Put another way, over 40,000 people who could and should be on the register in South Belfast, aren’t.
There is still time to be added to the Electoral Register in order to secure your vote for next year’s Local Government and European elections and a third canvass is about to begin of non-responding households.
I would therefore encourage anyone who has not already done so, to return their form or to obtain an additional copy by contacting the Electoral office Helpline number on 0800 4320 712 or via the Electoral Office website at www.eoni.org.uk .”