Online electoral registration goes live

As announced earlier this year, online electoral registration has arrived in the UK, allowing people to join the electoral register online with checks against other public records in order to guard against fraud:

Electoral registration formA new website allowing people to register for a vote in three minutes will help wipe out the kind of electoral irregularities alleged to have happened in the London borough of Tower Hamlets and other areas, Greg Clark, a Cabinet Office minister, has said.

Under the system, prospective voters will have to provide their national insurance number and date of birth to verify their identity for the first time, which will be cross-checked by electoral officials with a Department for Work and Pensions database…

The government’s new website is the first step in its switch to individual voter registration, rather than allowing the head of a household to sign up everyone who lives at an address. This will come into force during the summer, when about 80% of voters will be automatically transferred to a new register of individuals when their details are confirmed against existing records. These people will not have to take any action but the remaining 20% will be prompted to sign up again to the electoral register individually through letters and canvassers by 2016.

The Government Digital Service adds:

For the first time we have:

  • linked all local authorities in England, Wales and Scotland with a central national service across the PSN (Public Services Network)
  • built a way to verify people against the DWP system to allow online registration, authenticated through National Insurance number
  • built a system which works across multiple security levels on a national scale in a way that is safe, secure and transparent to users

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