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Electoral Register

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 1st October 2019.

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Photo of Chris Ruane Chris Ruane Shadow Minister (Wales)

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the Electoral Commission's report Accuracy and completeness of the electoral registers in Great Britain, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the disparity between electoral register completeness of voters from white ethnic backgrounds and those from other ethnic backgrounds.

Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office

The Government is committed to protecting, promoting and respecting our democracy. We want to build upon recent record levels of electors registering to vote and participating in elections. Since 2013/14, the Government has provided more than £27m to fund diverse activities by EROs, civil society groups and others to promote electoral registration and democratic engagement.

The Cabinet Office has recently published the findings of a project investigating the barriers to registration for under-registered groups, including some minority ethnic backgrounds.

This evidence is available along with other resources on GOV.UK to assist Electoral Registration Officers and others to better understand why some ethnic minorities are less likely to be registered and to target them more effectively.

The Government is also taking action to reform the annual canvass of all residential properties in Great Britain. These reforms will significantly improve the overall efficiency of the canvass process and allow Electoral Registration Officers to focus their efforts on activities including the targeting of under-registered groups.

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