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Government cheers passing IER milestone



Cabinet Office points to 10 million applications for individual electoral registration with 77% made online

The Cabinet Office has claimed a vindication for the government’s moves towards individual electoral registration (IER) by passing the 10 million mark in the number of applications.

It also claimed this has been a step forward in digitising its processes, highlighting a figure from an earlier report by the Electoral Commission that 77% of the applications had been made online.

The announcement comes after the government ignored the commission’s recommendation that the change to using voter rolls based on IER should be held back until December 2016 due to problems with the data. In July the Cabinet Office announced the transition will be complete at the end of this year.

Minister for Constitutional Reform John Penrose claimed that passing the 10 million mark proved the success of the transition, with checks on every voter’s identity reducing the risk of electoral fraud.

Step forward

John Manzoni, chief executive of the Civil Service, said: “This is a step forward in our efforts to digitise government. ‘Register to vote’ was one of our key exemplars and proves that we can build digital services that are simpler, clearer and faster to use.

"We can now build on this and go even further by building common technology platforms that are better for users and significantly more cost effective for the taxpayer.”

IER is replacing the old system of one person being able to register every voter in a household.  The Electoral Commission expressed concerns over variations in the distribution between local authorities of the proportion coming from the old household registrations, and estimated that  1.9 million people could fall off the register.

The government’s decision to complete the transition at the end of this year could have an effect on the electoral boundary review and local elections in 2016.




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