Thursday, 12 March 2015

Letter sent regarding change to Electoral Registration system

I am an SNP activist in Glasgow. 

Having chatted to many people whilst campaigning I am alarmed by the number of people who have told me they are no longer on the register. Everyday when I go onto facebook I read similar stories. This takes me to the reason why I am contacting you. 

Below is a quote currently on Glasgow councils electoral webpage: "The electoral registration system changed in September 2014 to a new system of Individual Electoral Registration (IER). Each individual is required to register themselves and provide a few more details including your National Insurance number." 

Could you please answer these question?: 
1) Why were changes made? 
2) Why ( according to the quote above ) do individuals need to go out their way to register rather than have a convenient system that reminds them IE a letter from their local electoral office? 
3) Do all applications now get processed in England by the DWP and do they have a traffic light policy of green,amber and red? If correct, did applications before September 2014 get processed in England? Did the DWP process applications before the 18th of September 2014? 
4) Since the new rules were introduced has there been a reduction of people on the register in Scotland since the 18th of September? 
5) Why does the system now require additional information? Is this effecting the numbers on the register? 
6) Are you aware of any suspect websites claiming to be able to process applications? I consider this to be a very important subject which does require clarification. 

Based on what I am hearing out on the streets and online, many people will be left disappointed after May the 7th when ( for what ever reason ) they will have not been able to vote. 

To prevent disappointment can the electoral roll issue an online statement and possibly try to clarify the new rules to a much wider audience? 

I realise that I have raised several concerns and questions with you. I would really appreciate your assistance with all of the above.

Reproduced with the kind permission of Martin Monaghan, SNP activist.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Call your local council and ask them to clarify if you are registered to vote.

On the 19th of September 2014 a new system was introduced in the processing of applications to be added to the voters roll in Scotland.

I believe the DWP ( Department of Work and Pensions UK ) now carefully look at applications and grade them with either Green, Amber or Red. This can prevent you from being registered. If you are considered either Amber or Red you might be taken off the register.

I think it very wise that every single voter in Scotland check that they are registered to vote. In Glasgow right now you cant get clarity on the phone as their system is down and has been for 5 days. 

The cut off for online applications in Glasgow according to a person at Glasgow City Council (no doubt situated in the Kremlin on George Square or close to it) is the 17th of April 2015 and postal applications is the 7th of April 2015. 

Local authorities across Scotland will have their own times. Clearly this new system will effect the numbers able to vote. My advice is not to re-register online. Call your local council and ask them to clarify if you are registered to vote. 

Many may be left very disappointed if the new changes are not widely acknowledged.