People in Birmingham can now register to vote online, by going to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.
Registering online is just one of the improvements being made to the electoral registration system nationwide. From today, anyone registering to vote will also have to provide their national insurance number and date of birth, to reduce the risk of fraud.
A new, more secure system of individual registration is being introduced to replace the old Victorian system where the “head of household” registered everyone living in a property. Now, each individual will be responsible for registering themselves.
Whilst the system is changing, local authorities, including Birmingham City Council, are working with the Government to roll over as many people as possible onto the new system, and most people will not have to do anything because of the changes.
As part of the transition, everyone currently on the electoral register will shortly receive confirmation that they have been rolled over to the new system, or a letter asking for more information.
Robert Connelly, Birmingham City Council's Head of Electoral Services, said: “This is an important step forward in the electoral system as it enables people to take a proactive approach and register online now, rather than waiting for a form to arrive through the post. Individuals will also have responsibility for registering themselves, rather than someone else doing it on their behalf.
“As a local authority, we are working together with other councils across the West Midlands to promote electoral registration, particularly among those groups who in the past have been under-registered, such as students, to ensure that they are aware of the importance of registering to vote, particularly ahead of the General Election in 2015.”
Notes to editors
- Individual Electoral Registration (IER) is now being rolled out nationwide.
- Every household will receive a letter from their local authority in July or August, either confirming that people are registered, or that more information is required.
For further information contact Jonathan Horsfall on 0121 303 3367