Search on for 2,000 voters lost in Ipswich
More than 2,000 voters have been “lost” from the electoral roll in Ipswich over the last year following changes to the way people are registered.
However people can register at any time – and have until the end of March to get their name down to vote in May’s local election and the poll for the Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner.
The Ipswich Labour Party has surveyed the number of voters registered in every ward in the town – and found that in 15 of the 16 wards the number had fallen over the last year.
The largest drop was in Bridge Ward, covering the Old Stoke and Wherstead Road area, where the number fell by 342. The only ward to see an increase in the number of voters registered was St Margaret’s where 20 extra voters were recorded.
Labour agent John Cook said: “Changes to the law that were said to be aimed at reducing electoral fraud have made it more difficult for families in particular to register together.
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“It is more difficult for us to register people now. It used to be that when we were out canvassing if we found people who were not registered, we could give them a form, help them fill it in and return it for them.
“We cannot do that now because the forms contain information that could be used for identity fraud – we give them a card giving them details of the web address where they can register, but we don’t know how many follow that through.”
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He said the areas of the town with the lowest number of registrations were those with a significant transitory population, or a large number of students.
It is a statutory requirement to register to vote at your home address – and it is necessary to be an electoral role for anyone wishing to open a bank account.
The borough has urged anyone not on the register to visit the official website www.gov.uk/register-to-vote or contact their voter registration office on 01473 432533.