Can we really claim to be a democracy when the government very clearly does not care if people can vote?

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This report was published last Thursday, but I missed it then and it is no less relevant this morning:

As many as eight million people face being disenfranchised at the next election due to an electoral registration system which is neither effective nor efficient, says the cross-party Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee in a report published today.

As they noted:

The report finds that the current state of the electoral registration system, which governs local elections in England and UK general elections, needs urgent review.

The report finds that there have been notable issues with the practical implementation of recent electoral registration reforms, including voter ID which left individuals without the right ID being prevented from voting and only a limited number of forms of ID being permitted. The report disagrees with the Government's view on the adequacy of the list of accepted photo ID and believes it should be widened to include other forms, such as emergency services passes and non-London travel passes.

The report recognises that certain groups, such as young people, renters, ethnic minorities, and those in lower socio-economic groups are significantly less likely to be registered to vote. The Committee were also told that some disabled people do not feel supported to register to vote, particularly struggling with the lack of variety in communication channels.

The report recommends a series of steps to help tackle under-registration. … The report also calls for the Government to move towards an opt in automated voter registration system to help ensure that voters are not disenfranchised.

They add:

The report references the Electoral Commission's 2023 report, "Electoral registers in the UK”, which found that completeness of the registers in the UK is at 86%. ‘Accuracy' looks at the number of false entries on the electoral registers and is currently at 88%. This means that potentially as many as eight million people were not correctly registered at their current address and people may be registered twice inadvertently.  The completeness of the electoral registers in Great Britain is 86%.   The Commission explained that " if a UK general election was called now, around 14% of the eligible population would not be able to vote."

That is approximately seven million people who are disenfranchised in the UK as a result of government indifference.and as the committee notes, this is not necessary. In a very similar situation to the UK, Canada had very much higher levels of voter registration.

Can we really claim to be a democracy when the government very clearly does not care if people can vote?

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