The UK Government’s Individual Electoral Registration digital service, developed in partnership between Cabinet Office and Kainos, handled 622,398 applications on 22 May, the deadline to register to vote in the forthcoming General Election. This exceeds the previous record of 525,254 applications to register to vote in a single day. Over 2.9 million voters applied to register online between the announcement of the General Election on April 18th and the registration deadline of May 22nd.
The most significant spike in online activity coincided with the 10 o’clock news, with 23,854 users handled seamlessly and concurrently.
Kainos has been working with the Cabinet Office since 2014 to support and enhance the development of the register to vote website. To date the service has enabled approximately 27 million applications to be processed across England, Wales and Scotland, a key strategic priority of the Modern Electoral Registration Programme. Kainos worked closely with key suppliers, government departments and agencies in order to make the system easy to use and efficient for registering voters. In particular close consideration was given to ensuring the service’s major operational change did not adversely affect the 387 local authorities responsible for electoral administration.
Modernising a century old paper-based system, the new digital service is intuitive and user friendly: voters can register quickly and easily using only their name, date of birth, address and National Insurance number. It helps improve the accuracy and completeness of the electoral registers, and incorporates safeguards against fraud by automatically verifying each individual application against data already held by Government.
In updating electoral registration to meet the needs of citizens and administrators the Cabinet Office worked with Kainos to develop a system that is flexible, innovative and future proof. In addition to supporting steady state running, Kainos continues to collaborate with the Cabinet Office to ensure the capacity of the system is sufficient to cope with future demands, including working closely with Cabinet Office to ensure the service remains secure.
The Register to Vote service can be accessed here gov.uk/registertovote