Almost A Million UK Residents Register To Vote Online
The recently introduced online registration platform is a big hit with young voters
The Cabinet Office has reported on the success of the recently introduced online voter registration service, with more than 800,000 people getting on the electoral register through the GOV.UK website in the past two months.
Nine in ten users said they are satisfied with the platform created by the Government Digital Service.
In order to take part in elections or referendums, the ‘head of the household’ previously had to print out a form, sign it and send it to the local electoral registration office, where it would be filed – a process which could take up to a week.
Vote with your… vote
Since the middle of June, UK residents can register to vote in about three minutes – all they need is a valid National Insurance number and, in rare cases, a passport.
The online registration platform was designed to be fully compatible with mobile devices, and statistics show that around a third of people have accessed the service through a smartphone or tablet. The Cabinet Office calls this one of the biggest changes to electoral registration in generations.
“We’ve made registering to vote easier than ever before and it’s really positive that nearly a quarter of those registering in the last month have been under the age of 35,” commented Sam Gyimah, Minister for the Constitution.
“But we know there’s more to do to maximise registration rates, so we will continue our efforts to ensure that everybody has their say in the how the country is run.”
The launch of the new online tool is part of a wider move to the Individual Electoral Registration (IER), which is set to replace the outdated household registration system. Once the switchover is complete, 80 percent of UK residents will be added to the electoral roll automatically, without having to register, thanks to IER’s user verification and cross-referencing features.
Digital services are becoming increasingly important for the state. In June, the Policy Exchange think tank suggested that digital inclusion and support for the technology market could become some of the central issues in the upcoming general election.
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