Voter errors

As Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) for the Ayrshire Valuation Joint Board, I want to respond to any concerns regarding your report, “Scottish independence: vote rigging fears” (Scotland on Sunday, 7 September).

We’re aware of one East Ayrshire household where two children received poll cards for the referendum. The children’s names were removed from the electoral register in July, after the register used to produce the poll cards had been passed to the printer.

They were included in the first instance based on the information provided by the household on the “canvass” return form, which asks households to only include the names of anyone “eligible to vote” and advises them not to include anyone under the age of 15.

Where parents include children over 15, they are asked to include their date of birth. If names are provided, with no date of birth, we have to 
accept the details as an adult 
registration.

That’s why it’s important people complete electoral registration forms correctly and get in touch if they believe any incorrect information has been provided. A new process for electoral registration will be introduced on 19 September, which will mean each person is required to register to vote individually, rather than by household, which should greatly reduce the margin for voter errors like this.

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With Individual Electoral Registration, voters need to provide “identifying information”, such as date of birth and national insurance number, and this will be verified before voters are added to the register.

I assure all your readers that EROs take great care to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the electoral register at all times.

Helen MD McPhee

Assessor and Electoral Registration Office

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South Ayrshire Council