Wales to automatically register voters

By Ellie Ames | 03 October 2023

The Welsh Government is to establish automatic voter registration for local government and Senedd elections. 

Under the Elections and Elected Bodies (Wales) Bill - introduced today - councils would be required to add people to the local government register without the need for an application.

Local authorities will be invited to take part in trials focusing on how best to collect data to support automatic registration.

The Government said its ambition was for the changes to be in place for the next major devolved and local elections in 2026 and 2027.

Counsel general and minister for the constitution Mick Antoniw said: ‘Ultimately, this is about making it as easy as possible for people to vote and participate in democracy.

‘Our actions to remove barriers are in direct contrast with the UK Government, which has denied some voters their democratic right by requiring photo ID in recent English local elections.’

Director of the Electoral Reform Society Cymru campaign group, Jess Blair, said: ‘It is welcome that ministers are looking at how to make voting easier for people, removing barriers that we know many people face.’

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