Feeds

Electoral officers oppose edited register

Local gov hates marketeers

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Most local authority electoral officers support the information commissioner's recommendation to scrap the edited electoral roll, according to a new survey.

The survey of 204 councils, taken during August by the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Association of Electoral Administrators, found that 98 per cent of officers were against making information on local residents available to marketing firms through the edited register.

It found that the councils each receive an average of £1,900 annually for selling edited electoral rolls, meaning that the scheme's abolition would have almost no financial impact on local authorities.

The survey also found that 88 per cent of electoral officials believe that the current system deters people from voting – despite it being straightforward to avoid appearing on the edited roll through marking a box on the registration form.

Councillor Richard Kemp, deputy chairman of the LGA, said: "The new survey clearly shows that town halls hugely resent having to pass the electoral roll to direct marketing companies. Most people hate junk mail and cold calling and councils don't want to be a part of the process that generates money for junk mail companies in this way.

"Selling the electoral roll undermines democracy, dissuades people from voting and gives people the impression that the council is profiting from selling their personal information. Ministers must change the law to ban junk mail firms from getting their information through the electoral roll," he added. "Keeping two separate electoral rolls is fiddly, costly and frankly a pain in the backside for councils."

Councils have been required by government to prepare an edited electoral roll, available to all for a price, since 2002. The full electoral roll is available for electoral use and to credit reference agencies.

In July, information commissioner Richard Thomas and Mark Walport, director of medical charity the Wellcome Trust, recommended in their Data Sharing Review that the edited electoral roll be discontinued.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.