Big Change In Electoral Registration System

From now on individuals have to register to vote

The English electoral registration system changes today (10 June 2014). The new system is called Individual Electoral Registration (IER) and is the biggest change in the system in a century.

Previously, voter registration was done by household. One person in a household filled in a form and entered the details of everyone who lives there. The people who were eligible were then registered to vote.

Now everyone needs to register themselves individually under IER; the biggest change to the voter registration system in 100 years.

Most people who are currently registered to vote will be registered automatically under the new system. This will happen because local elections staff are comparing their electoral registers to existing records to confirm who people are.This is being done carefully through a secure system that has been tested thoroughly.

For all sorts of reasons, some people will not match against these records and therefore cannot be transferred automatically to the new register. For example, they may have moved home since the record was last updated, or there may be a difference in the spelling of the two records.

From 10 June, to register to vote in Putney & Wandsworth for the first time, people should go to

Individual electoral registration gives people the right and responsibility to register themselves, instead of giving the responsibility to a ‘head of household’. As such, it encourages people to take individual responsibility for their own vote and allows for more convenient methods of registration.

And because the new system asks for a few more details before people are added to the register –National Insurance number and date of birth – the electoral register will be more secure and more resistant to threats of electoral fraud.

Wandsworth Council will be writing to everyone on the electoral roll in the borough in July, explaining the change to the electoral registration system. The letters will also tell people if they have been automatically transferred to the new register or not. You will find a four page article in the council's Brightside magasine later this month.

Samantha Mills, Head of Campaigns at the Electoral Commission, said: “This summer the Electoral Commission will launch a major advertising campaign that will raise awareness of the change to Individual Electoral Registration. We welcome this change, which will lead to a more secure register and replace the outdated Victorian concept that a single ‘head of household’ is responsible for registering everyone.”

For more information go the council’s web pages. The Government’s dedicated IER pages - will go live on 20 June.

June 10, 2014