Constitutional Affairs Committee

Press notice 3 of Session 2004-05                    7 December 2004

New Inquiry into Voter Registration by the Committee on the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and the Constitutional Affairs Committee

The ODPM: Housing, Planning, Local Government and the Regions Committee has resolved to carry out a joint inquiry with the Constitutional Affairs Committee into voter registration with particular reference to the following issues:

(a)    Advantages of individual registration compared with the existing system of household registration
(b)    Strategies for encouraging registration, in particular among young voters, and tackling resistance to registration; and examination of the advantages and disadvantages of compulsory registration
(c)    Issues of geographic and ethnic variations in levels of voter registration
(d)    Advantages or disadvantages of electronic rather than paper-based registration systems
(e)    Difficulties for the disabled and others unable to complete forms
(f)    Availability and confidentiality of the register
(g)    Basis for individual registration e.g. address-based or on personal criteria such as NI number or birth date
(h)The desirability of a national electoral register
(i)    Means of ensuring the security of the register: PIN numbers, electoral voting cards, signatures

The Committees invite written evidence on the points above and other relevant topics by 14 January 2005. It is unlikely that evidence submitted after this date will be published. (Witnesses who wish their evidence to be treated in confidence should contact the Committee clerk in advance.) It should also be noted that decisions about who to call for oral evidence are likely to be taken on the basis of evidence received by this date. [The form which such evidence should take is set out below-please note in particular the restriction on length and that wherever possible it should be submitted by e-mail or on disk].

Oral evidence sessions will be arranged and announced in due course.

Contact: Jessica Mulley or Lynn Gardner, Committee Clerks 020 7219 3927 ( or

Written evidence must if possible be submitted in an electronic format, either on disk or preferably by e-mail. It should be in MS Word or Rich Text format.  If sent by e-mail it should for this inquiry be sent to .  The e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from. If sent by post it should be sent to the Clerk, ODPM Committee, Committee Office, House of Commons, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA. Witnesses without access to a computer are respectfully requested to take particular care that submissions are legible.

Submissions should be as brief as possible, and certainly no more than 3,000 words. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and it would be helpful to include a brief executive summary. Those submitting evidence are reminded that evidence should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere. Once submitted no public use should be made of it. Guidance on the submission of evidence can be found at

Further details of the ODPM Committee, including its current membership, can be found on the Committee’s homepage at  Information about the Committee can also be obtained from 020 7219 4972.

1. Committee Membership is as follows: Rt Hon Alan Beith MP (Chairman), Peter Bottomley MP, Mr Hilton Dawson MP, Mr James Clappison MP, Ross Cranston QC MP, Mr Andrew Rosindell MP, Mr Clive Soley MP, Mrs Ann Cryer MP, Keith Vaz MP, Mr Jim Cunningham MP, Dr Alan Whitehead MP.
2. Press notice: 3

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