Registering to vote needs to be simplified
If like me you decide to register to vote at the last minute, here is a cautionary tale.
Rightly, the Electoral Office requires proof of name and birth, of nationality and address, and of a National Insurance number. There are many documents acceptable for all but the latter.
Here they require one of the following: a National Insurance card, an HMRC notice of coding or tax credit letter, or a letter from the National Insurance contributions office.
Someone needs to tell them the evidence list for NI numbers needs sorting.
National Insurance cards are no longer issued; very few PAYE employees receive notices of coding or tax credits; employers do. And a requested letter from the National Insurance contributions office takes 10 days to arrive.
Other documentation bearing your NI number - eg. P60, P45, payslips, letters from employers, etc - are not permitted as evidence.
So, to paraphrase an old electoral dictum, register early and register often to renew your registration. But prepare well in advance - something that all of the registration awareness publicity omits to mention.
DISGRUNTLED AND DISENFRANCHISED VOTER
Moira, Co Down