Commenting on the announcement by the NIO that the Government will allow a temporary reinstatement of the elector register, and consider wider changes, Alliance Party General Secretary commented:
“The reforms to electoral law introduced through the Electoral Fraud Act were absolutely necessary. They have provided greater integrity and confidence to the electoral process. But it is right that some adjustments are now made in light of experience.
“Alliance is absolutely firm that individual registration must remain, alongside the use of photo identification. These are the most crucial protections against abuse.
“Alliance gives a broad welcome to the decision to carry forward names registered in one year to another. There was particular confusion in the autumn of 2003 when people actually registering for the 2004 register, but believed that they registering to vote in the November Assembly election.
“The move away from the annual canvass in favour of a process of ongoing rolling registration is also attractive. However, there may be complications. While there is a place for rolling registration, the absence of an annual canvass could lead to some people may move without changing their details, and there could also be a sudden rush in the immediate run-up to elections as people attempt to register at the last minute.”