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Bridget Phillipson: 'The Government's electoral shake-up is nothing short of an outrage'

Bridget PhillipsonThe Government’s electoral shake-up is nothing short of an outrage.

I’m not talking about the recently announced changes to parliamentary constituencies, but the plans that will see as many as 10million voters fall off the electoral register.

Ministers are proposing that it should no longer be compulsory to co-operate with electoral registration officers, the local council officials who have a duty to compile an accurate voting register.

The Electoral Commission made their concern very clear, calling it the biggest change since the introduction of the universal franchise.

The people most likely to lose out will be the poor, the young and people in urban areas.

There is of course a very good reason to avoid registering to vote as you’ll miss out on jury service.

At present you can’t do this and can be fined, but this will be removed altogether.

When parliamentary boundaries are reviewed again after 2015, it will be on the basis of around 10million fewer people on the electoral register.

Even if you register to vote, if your neighbours haven’t you will find yourself living in a much larger constituency with reduced political power.

If we heard that this was happening in a developing country, I’m confident that politicians of every persuasion would rightly have something to say about it. So why are the Tories and the Lib Dems so silent now?

This article was originally published in the Sunderland Echo on: Wednesday 28th September 2011

You can view the original article here

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