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Local authorities invited to take part in automatic voter registration trial

The Welsh Government plans to implement automatic voter enrollment for local government and Senedd elections. 


According to the recently introduced Elections and Elected Bodies (Wales) Bill, councils will be mandated to include individuals in the local government register without needing an application.


Before the legislation is rolled out, local authorities are being invited to take part in trials which will help decide how best to collect data for automatic voter registration. 


The move will also see ministers provide financial to support disabled people running for elections (e.g. helping with additional expenses like mobility equipment and communication software). 


The government expects the changes to come into action in time for the next significant develolved and local elections in 2026 and 2027. 


Counsel general and minister for the constitution Mick Antoniw said: “Ultimately this is about making it as easy as possible for people to vote and participate in democracy.

“Our actions to remove barriers are in direct contrast with the UK Government, which has denied some voters their democratic right by requiring photo ID in recent English local elections.”


The director of Electoral Reform Society Cymru, Jess Blair, added: “It is welcome that ministers are looking at how to make voting easier for people, removing barriers that we know many people face.”


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