Voluntary voter registration

Question

Provide examples of voluntary registration during elections. Where have these been undertaken, how does it work and the effectiveness of such registrations?

Summary

Voter registration is not just the technical implementation of an activity; it is a holistic political, administrative and practical process.

Successful voluntary voter registration schemes tend to be:

  • Responsive to local conditions including the political, economic and social context of the country hosting the election
  • Realistic and affordable given the financial and administrative environment in which it must be developed and sustained
  • Accompanied by a voter education drive that fosters necessary awareness by emphasising the importance of registration, explaining responsibilities, and presenting information on how to complete the process
  • Sufficient investment is required in the training of staff involved in the registration process to ensure the performance of the voter registration system and quality assurance mechanisms
  • Voter registration exercises will often rely on support and management by international staff owing to the short timelines, limited local information technology (IT) skilled staff and the complex computerisation involved

Enquirer:

Suggested citation

Avis, W. (2015). Voluntary voter registration (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 1325). Birmingham, UK: GSDRC, University of Birmingham.