Last year, the UCU and NUS ran a joint ‘Bite the Ballot’ campaign to encourage students to register to vote. This was a substantial success, but now, the Tories are back, still aiming to remove people off the register. As usual, students will be badly hit. UCU members should contact their MPs and demand they sign the Early Day Motion, to publicise what the UK Government is planning, and help build opposition to it.
In December, up to 1.9m people will be deleted from the voting register.
The way we register to vote is changing. Councils have been transferring everyone from the old voting register to the new one, but they haven’t finished the job. The government originally planned to give councils until December 2016 to re-register the missing voters. But over the summer they announced that they would speed up the process. Anyone who hasn’t been transferred to the new register will be deleted in December – that’s up to 1.9m people.
Why are the government rushing the job? In April, the new voting register will be used to work out new constituency boundaries for the 2020 election. Anyone who is removed from the register in December won’t be counted. That means areas with lots of voters who haven’t been transferred will get fewer seats in Parliament.
These changes will be passed on November 2nd without even a vote in the House of Commons – unless enough MPs request a debate by signing an Early Day Motion.
Director, Unlock Democracy