Prompt to register as an overseas elector

Part of Overseas Electors Bill – in the House of Commons at 9:54 am on 22nd March 2019.

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Photo of Philip Davies Philip Davies Conservative, Shipley 9:54 am, 22nd March 2019

As the hon. Gentleman says from a sedentary position, there have been many, and I am certainly not going to disagree. We probably should not have a Division on that, because I am certainly not going to disagree. In all seriousness, I think he made some very good points in what is now new clause 1. When he suggested the change in Committee, he said that the purpose behind it was

“to ensure that people register at the outset so that we avoid spikes in registration in the immediate lead-up to an election period when, given everything else that is going on, electoral registration officers are at their busiest, their work is at its most hectic and they are under the most careful of examinations.”

He pointed out that as we very much saw

“in constituencies across the UK at the previous general election, there was not just a flurry of late registrations, but in certain constituencies there were complaints afterwards that people had not been allowed to vote, even though…they had registered in time.”––[Official Report, Overseas Electors Public Bill Committee, 31 October 2018;
c. 103-104.]

He also said that, in some circumstances, they had confirmation that they had been registered, but then found that they were not on the register, and that the new clause is intended to avoid those problems happening again.