Achieving register accuracy
Maintaining accurate and comprehensive electoral registers is essential for supporting fair, representative voting across the UK. This activity is the responsibility of a local authority’s ElectoralRegistration Officers (ERO), who are charged with overseeing the process and collating the data.
For local authorities with universities in their vicinity, maintaining register completeness becomes more complex given the swell of eligible voters and the transient nature of students.
Sheffield City Council has two universities in its locality – the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam – equating to a vast number of potential electors given the 60,000 students across both institutions. The administrative burden of achieving an accurate electoral register was becoming a challenge for the Council, and was subject to regular change as students moved in and out of the area. The process became even more complicated following the introduction of Individual Electoral Registration (IER), where the onus to register fell on students themselves – a costly and time-consuming activity for the ERO who typically had to chase students to do so.
As a result, the Council was keen to streamline the process and implement a more effective and efficient approach to facilitating student registration and achieving ongoing register maintenance and accuracy.