Wednesday, 9 July 2014

WARNING: Don't register to vote in East Devon!

The East Devon Alliance blog has carried out extensive research into the failures of the District Council in helping voters to register:
The missing 6,000 voters – EDDC is in the worst 6% of councils in the country for voter registration! | East Devon Alliance

Questions raised over East Devon Council’s failure to fulfill Government canvassing exercise

By Exeter Express and Echo | Posted: July 08, 2014

THOUSANDS of East Devon residents were not registered to vote ahead of the European Elections and this may have been due to East Devon District Council’s failure to fulfil a Government canvassing exercise.

A report by the Electoral Commission revealed that the district council was one of 17 local authorities across the country which fell short of its canvassing requirements to register households in person ahead of its introduction of a “major change” in registration format on June 10, 2014.

The change involves people who are eligible to vote, to individually register instead of the head of the household registering for all members. In March 2013, all local authorities were tasked with contacting households which were not registered.

... East Devon was one of the 17 which did not ensure that all non-responding properties were canvassed in person. However both the council and East Devon MP Hugo Swire said that a large number of households failed to register during the transition period.

The report was discovered by the East Devon Alliance campaign group which has raised concerns that the council has been “remiss” which could have affected the outcome of the European Elections this May when Ukip took the majority from the Conservatives for the first time. Group members rooted out the report after their inquiries found that there had been a decline in people on the electoral role from around 104,000 in 2013 to 98,000 in 2014.

The report states: “East Devon originally planned for house-to-house enquiries to be carried out as a part of the canvass, but none were conducted in practice. Their plans were later adapted to use telephone canvassing as a first step for non-responding properties, and the details of 39 per cent of such properties were confirmed through this mechanism. The overall canvass response rate for East Devon was 95 per cent.”

A district council spokesperson explained that some heads of household have required “several reminders” to submit their forms.

He explained that through its process of updating the electoral data, acting on cabinet office guidance, the council removed all those households with uncompleted registration forms, also as a way minimising election fraud. “The upshot of taking some people off the register was a significant number of requests to go back on the list and we now have more up to date numbers,” he added. “As of today, our electorate stands at 100,531.”

The council is appointing 10 temporary personal canvassers during the transitional period from September 22, until December 1.

All MPs were briefed on the introduction of Individual Electoral Registration which it described as a “major change to the democratic process”, and were tasked with promoting registration.

East Devon MP Hugo Swire, added: “East Devon has always had a very high level of voter registration, around 99 per cent. As a result of the transition from household registration to individual registration some eligible voters failed to return their forms. The council checked many of these against existing data and were content, but the Department of Work and Pensions stipulated that only those who had returned the completed forms could be counted. It is my understanding that this left some 6,000 people off the new register. I am told by the council that 3,000 of these are now back on leaving the remaining 3,000 still to respond. It is important that those who have not filled in the forms and returned them to the council should do so without further delay. We have local council elections and the General election in May and we want everyone who is entitled to vote to be able to. And they cannot do that unless they are properly registered.”

Questions raised over East Devon Council’s failure to fulfill Government canvassing exercise | Exeter Express and Echo

Voter registration is a hot topic in countries where residents are not automatically registered - notably the Anglo-Saxon world:

WARNING: DON'T VOTE (Jennifer Aniston, Leonardo Dicaprio, Halle Berry, Sarah Silverman, ...) - YouTube

Of course, you can still chose not to vote:
Sorry Paxman, Here's Why I Don't Vote | Planet Ivy
New Statesman | Russell Brand is wrong – if you don’t vote, you just won’t matter

After all, “If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.”
Non-voting - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Non-politics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
voluntaryist.com - Non-Voting

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