HC Deb 22 July 1971 vol 821 c1666
23. Mr. Leonard

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many local authorities are now using computer techniques in compiling and keeping up to date the election register ; and what recent assessment he has made of the feasibility of producing a register which could be constantly revised throughout the year, thereby removing the need for a single qualifying date.

Mr. Sharples

The answer to the first part of the Question, for England and Wales, is about a fifth : and, to the second, that my right hon. Friend believes that accuracy requires the retention of a fixed qualifying date.

Mr. Leonard

Will the hon. Gentleman keep this matter under constant review? Is he aware that hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of voters are effectively disfranchised by the traditional procedures? Can he be satisfied with the present situation?

Mr. Sharples

This was examined by the Home Office and the Metropolitan Police Joint A.D.P. unit and there is a report on it in the Library. It concluded that on present indications continual revision of the register would be less accurate than the present system and was ruled out on those grounds.

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