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Swindon Council gets cash for new electoral system
LETTERS falling onto doormats urging people to sign up to the Electoral Register after a stressful move may soon be a thing of the past with a major shake up to the system.
Amost £1m has been handed out to local authorities in the west to assist them in a nationwide change which is intended to make the registration system more accurate and secure.
Swindon Council will receive almost £60,000 to implement the changes, which will focus on Individual Electoral Registration.
Under the new guidelines, forms posted to the head of a household will end, and each member of a family will take responsibility for their own registration.
By next summer, online registration will be available which is hoped to make the entire process easier and more accurate.
It is also part of an effort to clamp down on electoral fraud, which has posed significant questions around postal voting in recent elections.
It is claimed most people will not have to do anything when the register is updated, as a process of data matching is being introduced.
This will match the current electoral register against other publicly available databases to form an accurate picture of voters around the country.
A dry run of the system carried out across the country last summer suggested an average of 78 per cent of people can be matched in this way and will be placed on the register automatically, eliminating the need for registration.
The remaining 22 per cent of people will still receive a letter and a visit from their local authorities during the canvass.
Swindon Council are now in the process of distributing the £58,624 handed down to them on establishing the local data matching process, which had previously been paid for from council coffers.
A national formula has been used to calculate what each area needs to cover the cost of the data matching process that will ensure the vast majority of the population will transfer automatically onto the new electoral register. It will also cover other costs such as writing to people to tell them they will need to register.
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