3,500 people in Dartford are at risk of losing their vote due to changes to the electoral registration system.
Dartford Labour Leader, Cllr Jonathon Hawkes, responding to the news that the Government plans to bring forward by 12 months the full implementation of Individual Electoral Registration (IER) to the 1 December 2015; commented:
“Changes to the system coming into force on 1st December mean that around one million people across the country will be taken off the electoral register this year, including approximately 3,500 people in Dartford.
Many people may find they have lost their vote as you must now register as an individual, not as a household. Labour supports the move to individual electoral registration, having legislated for it while in government. But we also recognise the enormous challenges the changes pose, which is why we put in place a transition period with strong safeguards. The Tories have botched and rushed through these changes and risk disenfranchising eligible voters. This is key for the future of our democracy and Labour will not stand by and allow people to lose their voice.
That’s why over the coming weeks, the Labour Party will be doing all it can to raise awareness of the impact of these changes – in the press, on social media and on the doorstep. We are encouraging everyone in Dartford to make sure they are not one of the missing million by registering to vote at gov.uk/register-to-vote. It only takes three minutes and don’t forget, if you don’t register to vote, you might end up with an £80 fine.
Soon we have a big choice to make about whether Britain stays in the EU. But if people aren’t on the electoral register, they will not be able to vote and have their say.
No one wants to see fewer people vote in elections. The Government should be doing all it can to encourage people to vote – not pushing through changes that make it less likely that they will take part.
With more than 18,000 people joining the Labour Party since the General Election, it shows that people are not apathetic. It is therefore worrying people could have lost their vote without realising. It is important that everyone in Dartford registers to vote. It’s quick and easy - you can register in just three minutes by going to gov.uk/register-to-vote.”