Stephen Williams MP - working hard for Bristol West

Stephen Williams MP Urges Students to Claim Their Vote

12.34.00pm BST (GMT +0100) Thu 4th Oct 2007

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Stephen Williams MP has today expressed his concern that over a million people could lose their right to vote if Gordon Brown calls a snap election this autumn.

He is especially concerned that people may think they have a vote, because they returned the voter registration forms sent to every home by the Council in August and September. However, these will only come into force after December 1st. John Turner, the chief executive of the Association of Electoral Administrators, speaking yesterday, raised fears that an Autumn poll would create "a real logistical nightmare".

Stephen Williams commented, "I am deeply concerned about the prospect that over a million people could be robbed of their right to vote if the Prime Minister calls an election this autumn".

"An early election would mean that anyone who has moved house in the last year and not filled in the correct form, including thousands of students, will be excluded from the democratic process because they will not be on the electoral register."

"Britain is a democracy. Gordon Brown has no right to disenfranchise a million people simply because it suits his own political ends. The Liberal Democrats want an election as soon as is realistically possible so that the British people can have their say on the Brown premiership, but the government has a responsibility to ensure that everyone gets to have their say - no exceptions."

The out of date register will affect students living away from home and people who have recently changed address. It is possible for people to add themselves to the rolling electoral register by completing an ER3 form no less than eleven days before polling, but this is in addition to the form sent to every house by the Council as part of the annual registration process. The Liberal Democrats' stall at the Bristol University Freshers' Fair on 4th and 5th October will be providing ER3 forms and they are also available from Bristol City Council electoral services or from .

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Previous news story: Stephen Williams MP Welcomes Council Support for HMO Campaign (Wed 12th Sep 2007).
Next news story: Stephen Williams MP Launches NHS Survey (Fri 5th Oct 2007).

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