Electoral Register: Ethnic Groups

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 17th November 2020.

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Photo of Cat Smith Cat Smith Shadow Minister for Young People and Voter Engagement

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps his Department is taking to improve voting registration rates among black people in the UK.

Photo of Cat Smith Cat Smith Shadow Minister for Young People and Voter Engagement

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps his Department is taking to introduce automatic voter registration in response to the recommendations from the Joint Committee on Human Rights.

Photo of Chloe Smith Chloe Smith Assistant Whip, Minister of State (Cabinet Office)

Electoral Registration Officers have statutory responsibility for maintaining complete and accurate electoral registers for their areas. The Government seeks to make registration as easy as possible and to work with many others to reduce any barriers to registration. We encourage everyone who is eligible to register to vote, and registering to vote has never been easier or more convenient.

The Government opposes automatic registration as it contradicts the principle that individuals are responsible for registering and that this should be done at a time and place of their choosing. Automatic registration would raise privacy and security concerns. It would also risk introducing errors and inaccuracies to the registers, creating unwarranted opportunities for fraud.

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