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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 29

Defects of Electoral Machinery

Defects of Electoral Machinery.

The complicated and limited method of making up the electoral roll year by year shuts out a large number of the really qualified electors from the suffrage. There are only three months of the year during which claims to be enrolled can be made. The process of revising is too favourable to objectors, whether official or private; and does not afford sufficient facilities to electors or claimants for becoming aware of, or defending their rights against objections. And yet too long a period elapses between the claim for enrolment, and the qualification to vote. Claims must be made in January, February, or March. The successful applicant is not entitled to vote until September or October.

Several years ago I proposed a system, under which every roll should be always open to fresh applicants (excepting during the vacancy of any seat in the particular page 42 District); and no elector could be struck off or applicant refused, without personal notice of the objection. I am ready to renew that proposal in detail.