ONE in 20 people have dropped off Bradford's electoral roll in the past year as a side-effect of a fraud clampdown, new figures show.

Nearly 20,000 people are missing from the register after a radical elections shake-up across the country.

Now a senior councillor has raised concerns that the vast majority of those dropped from the system will be legitimate voters.

Councillor Martin Love (Shipley), leader of the Green group at Bradford Council, said: "It would be tragic for people to turn up at the polling stations only to be disenfranchised."

But the Electoral Commission has stressed that no-one will be taken off the electoral register until after this year's General Election.

The new, more secure system requires people to register to vote individually, rather than allowing one person to sign up an entire household, and was designed to clamp down on electoral fraud.

In Bradford, 88 per cent of voters were automatically moved over to the new system last year, after their electoral roll details were cross-checked with records from the Department for Work and Pensions.

Missing voters have already been chased up with letters, asking them to provide additional information – their National Insurance number and date of birth – so they can be registered.

Many have now done this, but new Council figures requested by the Greens show that this year's electoral roll is still five per cent smaller than last year's.

The City ward is the hardest hit, and has seen the number of registered voters fall by 14 per cent.

A spokesman for the Electoral Commission said: "People who haven't been transferred automatically but who are registered will still be able to vote in the General Election.

"It won't affect your registration status at all - unless you wish to vote by post or by proxy, in which case you would need to be individually registered."

She added that people could now register to vote online, by visiting


Cllr Love said the change to the system had been the right thing to do, "to try and stop some of the fraud that is going on".

He said it was likely that a small proportion of the missing voters shouldn't have been on the roll in the first place, either because of fraud or more likely because they had recently moved and were being double-counted.

But he said it was now hugely important for people to check they were registered to vote.

He said: "I would urge people to check it out pretty quickly."