News story

Individual Electoral Registration hits major milestone

The government announced 10 million voter registrations with 77% made online.

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Cabinet Office has today announced that it has reached 10 million applications to register to vote through the new Individual Electoral Registration (IER) system.

Today marks a major milestone in the history of the electoral register.

Individual Electoral Registration was introduced a year ago, to reduce the likelihood of fraud and improve the accuracy of the register. Government launched the new system with a new online application process, making voter registration fit for the 21st century.

  • latest satisfaction rate of those applying online is 91.5%
  • most applications happen on a Monday
  • the age group making most use of the service is 25 to 34
  • the online process takes around 5 minutes

Online registration is credited with increasing the number of registered overseas voters. At the time of the May 2015 UK Parliamentary general election, the number of overseas voters was 105,845. This was approximately 3 times more than the number registered around the time of the 2010 UK Parliamentary general election.

Minister for Constitutional Reform, John Penrose said:

I am delighted we have reached 10 million applications. This milestone proves that the transition to Individual Electoral Registration has been a huge success. It introduces proper checks on every elector’s identity, so we’re sure they’re legally eligible to vote. That removes phantom voters and reduces the risk of electoral fraud dramatically, which is why it’s important to complete the transition before next May’s elections, rather than delaying it any longer.

Chief Executive of the Civil Service, John Manzoni 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.

Previously the old system required a ‘head of household’ to submit an application on behalf of all those resident at that address – an outdated concept not recognised by many in today’s world. Individual Electoral Registration makes sure everyone on the register is who they say they are.

In July Cabinet Office announced that that the transition to Individual Electoral Registration (IER) will complete at the end of 2015. Read the news story: Completing the move to Individual Electoral Registration.

Published 12 August 2015