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Well, now I'm well and truly fucked off, properly kicking-things-and-swearing-loudly fucked off. And the reason? I'm not going to be able to vote in the coming general election because the fucking University of fucking Bath has removed my entry from the electoral roll for Bath on the assumption that only students could possibly be registered to vote on campus, and they bugger off at the end of each year.

ias went through this last European election, when she found that she'd been removed (I did manage to successfully vote in Bath). We were assured that the problem had been fixed. Well, if by "fixed" you mean "fucked up royally in only the way that a university can manage", then I suppose it has been fixed.

I've just phoned the electoral registration officer for Bath and found out that ias has also been removed from the electoral roll. The process for registration at the university seems to be that they remove everyone from the electoral roll each year, then send the registration office a list of only the students living on campus. Since the registration process is driven by the university, the local registration office doesn't send out reminder notes.

Given that the deadline for registration was 11th March, there's no way for me to get on the electoral roll for this election, and it's almost certain that all forty-odd resident tutors at the university have been similarly disenfranchised.

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If the Uni have given a false statement to the Electoral Registration Officer, then can't they be prosecuted?

It's incompetence rather than malice, but this is something that I shall bear in mind.

Well, if they'd been warned on a previous occasion, then I think we can probably agree that a reasonable person would have been aware of the requirement.

I suppose a threat to report them (unless they clearly make a change of policy) would be counterproductive?

At the present time, yes. We'll be making a strongly-worded formal complaint in due course, and a threat to report them will probably feature in that.

I'm slightly surprised that the university has the authority to do that. Especially since many students remain on the electoral roll at their parents' address.

The university is acting as householder in this situation. Households are canvassed annually each autumn to generate lists of electors in those households. In addition, individuals may register themselves separately at any time during the year, so that a person who moves house between the autumn and an election can vote at their new address.

The problem is that the university generates their householder registration from the accommodation database, which contains a list of everyone who pays rent at the university. However, the resident tutors (and their partners) are required to live on campus under the terms of their contract, and do not pay rent for their accommodation. The university has been made aware of this before, and basically said that those in that situation should register individually (which we did). These individual registrations appear to be being overwritten by the householder registration.

When we moved to Tower Hamlets, they refused to add us to the electoral roll when we called them. Apparently they only change their roll twice a year, which I suspect breaches something or other. It certainly meant our credit record was pants until they sorted it out.

Since there was no election in that period, we didn't make a fuss, though if we'd needed a loan or ended up linked to Jo Peters, who seems to have done a runner, then I might have complained more vigorously.


That appears to be incorrect. The Electoral Commission states that the roll is updated monthly, except between August and November when the householder canvassing takes place.

I think the TH electoral roll dept was just too damn lazy to perform their legal duty.

We moved in November, so I was contacting them during the official update period, but they told me it should have been Oct and I'd missed the boat.



Go to the press. Make a huge stink about it. Even if it isn't happening in universities across the country - and I bet it is - it's scandalous. While I accept that this is a case of incompetence rather than malice, when similar things happen in Central Asia, the international community sees it as a deliberate attempt to stop lefty liberals from voting for the opposition!

Depending on the answer ias gets from the local electoral registration office this morning, we may well be doing just that.

I'm having difficulty finding words to express my outrage over this. Not only have I been disenfranchised of my right to vote, but my responsibility to vote has also been abrogated.

Why is your journal so popular?

I don't know how to answer that. Is it popular?

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