A quarter of a million people have tried to register to vote since the deadline to take part in the election

Anyone who registered after 20 April could not vote

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Indy Politics

A quarter of a million people have applied to put their names on the electoral register since the sign-up deadline to vote in the general election, according to official figures.

People who registered to vote after 20 April were not eligible to vote on May 7, meaning thousands would not have been able to participate despite registering during the campaign period.

Those who signed up just days after polling day will also have to wait at least a year for the opportunity to vote in any election.

The 250,000 people who have signed up since the deadline number higher than the 184,000 people who voted for the Democratic Unionist Party, parliament’s joint fourth biggest party with eight MPs.

The Electoral Reform Society, which campaigns for reform of the voting system, said the UK was behind other countries, including Canada and some US states, that allow voters to register on the same day as the election.

“Britain needs to look at introducing same-day registration and expanding opportunities for people to register whenever they interact with the government – including pensions, benefits, and tax,” Katie Ghose, the society’s chief executive, told the Independent.

Such provisions have been found to increase turnout at elections by as much as eight per cent in some cases.

“The fact that 250,000 people tried to register to vote after the deadline for the General Election shows there is a massive appetite for people to have their say,” she added.

 

“250,000 people is a quarter of a million missed opportunities …  at a time of disillusionment with politics, we need to seize every opportunity for people to get involved.”

Those who registered after the deadline will have to wait until next year to vote when some local and devolved elections are taking place. The next general election is not expected to be until 2020.

The figures on the number of people who had registered since the deadline were stated in a parliamentary answer by John Penrose, the minister for Constitutional Reform.

Turnout at the election was 66.1 per cent, up by about one per cent on 2010.

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