Some 81,015 people used Gov.uk to apply to be put on the electoral register, the Cabinet Office tweeted. Events were held across the UK to encourage online registration. Meanwhile, MPs called for to be able to register to vote on an election day itself to help address the growing deficit in democratic engagement. The Commons Political Reform Committee said such a step should be considered by 2020 to “re-energise” elections. Campaign group Bite The Ballot hoped to register 250,000 people on a single day, either through the online system or by post, by holding a series of rallies in workplaces, universities and schools. People have to be on the electoral register by 20 April to be able to vote in the general election on 7 May.
Campaigners have warned that the move to individual voter registration last year – in which people have to sign up individually and cannot be registered by another member of their household or student halls – risks disenfranchising a million people.
On Thursday, the previous record for the number of voters registered on Gov.uk website – 51,449 – was smashed.
People have been able to use Gov.uk to apply to be on the electoral register since June, a Cabinet Office spokesman said.