Big changes proposed to electoral roll registration
Posted in 'Electoral Roll' by Barry Stamp
17 September 2010
The government has announced plans for a major overhaul to the electoral roll, with changes due to come into force by 2014 – a year earlier than originally planned.
In an effort to combat fraud and restore public faith in the electoral roll, all voters will be required to register themselves - replacing the current system where a single person in each household is able to register all eligible voters, without having to provide identification.
Everyone who does register will be asked to provide ID such as their National Insurance number, date of birth and signature. Further checks will also be carried out by cross-checking against records held by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and other public databases.
There will be a year's grace before anyone who doesn’t register as an individual is removed from the database in 2015.
Initial responses to the announcement have largely focussed on the impact on voter registration levels, but little attention has been paid to the impact on the number of people appearing on the electoral roll on their credit files, or to what the government will do with the additional data they are collecting.
A similar system was introduced in Northern Ireland in 2002 and led to a 10% fall in the number of people registering to vote.
The electoral roll is a major part of credit files, and anyone not registering – either through choice or not realising that they had to – could see their ability to get credit dramatically reduced. The UK’s three credit reference agencies update their databases around the turn of the year, after local councils have collected the information as part of the annual canvas, and sold the data on to them.
This year’s forms have already been issued, and have to be returned by November. You can check whether you are currently listed, and whether you are included on the ‘edited register’ – the one that is sold on for marketing purposes – by checking your credit report online with checkmyfile. If you are on the edited register, you should seriously consider removing your details from it, as this can be sold to anyone, for any purpose, and which can consequently put you at much greater risk of falling victim to identity fraud.
Monitor your credit report based on data from all three credit reference agencies using our Multi Agency Credit Report. This is free to trial for 30 days and unless you cancel, whihc you can do at any time, then costs £9.99 oer month. Our Multi Agency Credit Reports contain more than twice the information than on aany other credit report and includes credit scores and credit ratings at no additional cost. This will also help you spot any errors or signs of attempted identity fraud.
Check your credit report now.
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