To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs
(1) whether her Department plans to ensure that a consistent approach is adopted by all local authorities in ensuring that individuals register to vote;
(2) how the Government plan to enforce registration of all voters at a local authority level.
Sections 9 and 10 of the Representation of the People Act 1983 and section 9 of the Electoral Administration Act 2006 (EAA 2006), set out the necessary steps that all local authorities must follow to ensure that eligible individuals are registered to vote.
These steps include sending the canvass form more than once to any address, conducting house to house enquiries and making contact by such other means as appropriate. Each local authority will adopt an approach which is appropriate to local circumstances, within the context of the necessary steps.
Section 67 of the EAA 2006 allows the Electoral Commission to set and monitor performance standards for electoral services. The Commission is currently developing electoral registration indicators and these should be implemented across England and Wales during December 2007. The aim of these indicators is to improve performance in electoral services, which will help to increase registration levels and compile a more accurate register.