Registration office ‘error’ means incorrect voter details sent out across Ayrshire

The Electoral Registration Office in Ayrshire is to re-issue its annual electoral Household Enquiry Forms to households across Ayrshire, following a printer error.

A voter registration letter containing a ‘Household Enquiry Form’, is sent to all households in Ayrshire every year, gathering the information needed to produce the electoral register, which is a publicly available document containing the names and addresses of voters.

The form goes out addressed to ‘The Occupier’ at a specific address listing the names only of all voters currently registered at that same address. The purpose of the exercise is to ensure the completeness and accuracy of the electoral register.

The 2015 canvass got underway last week, with around 170,000 Household Enquiry Forms issued to households across Ayrshire. However, a printing error resulted in incorrect voter details being sent to households.

An investigation, in conjunction with the print company, is now underway into what has happened.

Helen McPhee, Electoral Registration Officer for Ayrshire, said: “We’re very sorry this error has occurred and are actively working with the print company to investigate what’s happened.

“Our priority is to reassure voters across Ayrshire of the integrity of both their voter information and their inclusion on the electoral register ­– particularly with forthcoming by-elections in East and South Ayrshire.

“The Household Enquiry Forms only contain the names of voters registered at a particular address – no other details are included ­– and, as such, we do not expect this to have a significant impact. These forms also do, as a matter of course, often contain names of voters who are no longer at a specific address, as people will have moved away and not updated the electoral registration office when their details change. In addition, the electoral register is a public document, which can be checked – if people wish – in local libraries.

“I thank all our registered voters for their patience and co-operation while we work to resolve this issue. In the meantime, due to the numbers of voters potentially involved, we are taking the precaution of reporting the matter to the Office of the Information Commissioner.”

Voters across Ayrshire who currently go online to make their return, will find their correct details showing and can confirm the information.

Voters who have already made a return online or by telephone do not need to take any further action.