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11 April 2014, 06:00
The directory service 192.com has today told Heart it backs the Government's changes to election registration forms.
In future - effectively from the 2015 general election, there will be much more information on the election registration forms to educate the public on the options available for them to decided whether or not they want to be included on the publically available electoral roll list - the "edited register".
Yesterday, Hertsmere, Three Rivers and Stevenage councils claimed victory in a legal argument against 192.com because they continued to offer voters "pre-ticked" forms opting out of having voters details available on the "edited register"... which is against the current regulations.
But today, the CEO of 192.com, Keith Marsden has told Heart the reason the directory firm decided against taking a court case against the Hertfordshire councils - and 12 others - was the Government have already decided to change the forms to allow votes to see WHY their details could be useful on edited register.
Mr Marsden said: "We fully support voters right to privacy. Regardless of Electoral Roll Officers individual opinions, the regulations have always said the annual choice should be included on the annual form - the problem with pre-ticking the form is that it's not at all obvious to the individual how to override that pre-ticking.
A new system is now in place which means once you have registered and made your choices clear - ie where you want your choices to lie - along with other choices like proxy voting (etc), essentially your choices then remain in place until you tell the Electoral Roll Officer you want to make any changes.
That change - announced by the Government last year means the court case (between 192.com and the 15 councils) became unnecessary."