Voting change to end fraud in elections

Votes being counted after a ballot
Votes being counted after a ballot

ALMOST £73,000 will be spent in Wigan on changing the way voters are registered in a bid to cut down on fraud during elections.

The money allocated to the borough is part of a £1m pot awarded to town halls across Greater Manchester to switch residents on to individual electoral registration next year.

The Government says replacing the current system, where the designated head of the household fills out the forms for everyone eligible to vote in a property, will improve public confidence in the voting system and make personal information more secure.

Greg Clark, Minister for Cities and the Constitution, said: “We are on track to modernise electoral registration to tackle electoral fraud and increase public trust in elections, a trust which is at the heart of our democracy.

“Next year’s switch to individual electoral registration can only be achieved by central and local government across the North West working together, and the funding announced today is the latest step in this process to make sure our electoral register is as complete and accurate as it can be.”

Councils across the North West have spent the past three years working with Westminster on voter registration systems to ensure the changeover is as smooth as possible.

Wigan’s slice of the funding is the third smallest of the 10 unitary authorities in the region, with Manchester requiring £324,699 to change to the new system. More than £2.5m is being allocated to local authorities in the North West to cover extra costs incurred in the changeover, which has previously been funded out of existing electoral budgets.

The Government says the new forms will also ensure people living in shared homes, who might not realise forms have been posted, get a chance to register as voters.