Martin Ford 11 October 2022

Workload warning over voting pilots

Workload warning over voting pilots image
Image: Ceri Breeze / Shutterstock.com

Proposals to introduce automatic voter registration in Wales could cause confusion and add to already heavy workloads, election officers have warned.

The Welsh Government is to run a series of pilots in which councils will add anyone eligible to the electoral register for Senedd and local government elections.

It hopes to improve registration rates and voter participation, particularly among students and young people.

However, the Association of Electoral Administrators (AEA) said the pilots must take into account work already under way to implement the Elections Act 2022.

AEA chief executive Peter Stanyon said: ‘Divergence between registration methods has the potential to introduce voter confusion, leading to the unintended consequence of hindering participation in elections.

‘Returning officers and their teams in Wales will need extra support as they tackle the challenges of legislative divergence and electoral reform across Welsh and UK polls.'

Constitution minister Mick Antoniw said: ‘We want it to be as easy as possible to vote, with people able to play their full part in our democracy.

‘We also want to create political structures that are more representative of the people they serve.’

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