Electoral Register

Justice written question – answered on 25th January 2010.

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Photo of Stewart Jackson Stewart Jackson Shadow Minister (Communities and Local Government)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the timetable is for the introduction of individual electoral registration.

Photo of Michael Wills Michael Wills Minister of State, Ministry of Justice, The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

The timetable for the introduction of individual electoral registration remains as I set out during the parliamentary passage of the Political Parties and Elections Act 2009. During Commons consideration of Lords amendments on 13 July 2009, Hansard, column 99, I explained that:

"Our approach to individual registration is to move in two phases: a voluntary phase and a compulsory phase. During the voluntary phase, it will be compulsory for electoral registration officers to ask individuals to provide the relevant identifying information-national insurance number, date of birth and signature-but individuals will not be required to do that to be on the register.....The voluntary phase will not commence before July 2010-in other words, it will not become entangled with the next general election, whenever that may be-and will not finish before 2014. That period will enable us to be fully confident that the system is ready before we move to the compulsory phase, when it will be obligatory for individuals to provide identifying information to electoral registration officers to be included on the register. It will enable us to prepare the public for the change, and to take steps to bolster registration rates in the meantime. That will be fundamental to protecting the system against the risk of a drop in the numbers registered."

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