Voter registration website crash ‘entirely avoidable’ - Worthing West MP

Sir Peter Bottomley, pictured last year

Sir Peter Bottomley, pictured last year

11
Have your say

A last-minute surge of voters looking to register for the EU referendum leading to the dedicated website crashing was ‘entirely unavoidable’, according to Worthing West’s MP.

Just hours before last night’s deadline the Government website crashed, with some visitors to the site seeing an error message due to the large number of internet traffic.

A number of political leaders are calling for the registration period to be extended, and Prime Minister David Cameron has urged people to continue to register online, even though the deadline has passed.

But Worthing West MP Sir Peter Bottomley has backed calls suggesting the situation could have been avoided.

He said: “In the final hours before the EU voter registration deadline, the GOV.uk registration website crashed. Many people who wanted to register because they were inspired by the #TurnUp campaign or TV debates, or were simply planning to register late, were locked out of the referendum. Many of these were young people planning to vote for the first time.

“The root causes of the problem are clear. Britain’s electoral registers were missing millions of people. In 2014, there were 7.5 such million missing voters. Since then, the register has contracted further.

“In the heat of an impassioned debate about the future of Britain, the demand from ‘soon-to-be’ registered voters overwhelmed the Government’s technical infrastructure.

“This situation was entirely avoidable.

“Earlier this year, a report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Democratic Participation on the ‘Missing Millions’ presented tried and tested solutions to keep the register up-to-date all year round.

“In many democracies around the world, automatic registration is used to avoid a last minute administrative challenge. This is a solution that must now be given proper consideration in the UK.

“The ‘Missing Millions’ recommendations must now be implemented without delay. We call on the Cabinet Office and Electoral Commission to lead this charge.”

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage at www.worthingherald.co.uk/

2) Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Worthing.news

3) Follow us on Twitter @Worthing_Herald

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Worthing Herald - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.