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24th February 2015

Solace statement elaborating on the Solace position on Individual Electoral Registration (IER)

This is a statement from Dr. Dave Smith, Chair of the Solace Elections and Democratic Renewal Board and Chief Executive at Sunderland City Council, elaborating on the Solace position on IER.

Solace has worked with partners including the Electoral Commission, Cabinet Office and Association of Electoral Administrators to safeguard the quality of electoral processes at a time of diminishing resources and increasing responsibilities. Through our Elections and Democratic Renewal Board, we gather the thoughts and experiences of the sector to feed into the regulatory framework in which we practice.

We feel that, given the scale of the changes from household to individual registration, the risks to voter registration have been well managed so far. We understand that there are particular challenges in the transition in areas where the population is very mobile – for example, students. We are working with members to develop local processes that will support the national programmes of the Electoral Commission to maximise registration such as continued writing out, household canvassing, and working with local partners and institutions such as universities.

Beyond the transition period, we recognise that ‘steady state’ management of IER requires sufficient resourcing to achieve effective implementation. We are continuing to make this case to Cabinet Office.