Northern Ireland news

People on old electoral register 'should remain eligible to receive a £100 high street voucher'

The high street voucher scheme aims to stimulate the economy. Picture Mal McCann.
Paul Ainsworth

The Electoral Office has confirmed that people on the old electoral register should remain eligible to receive a £100 high street voucher Stormont hopes will stimulate the economy following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Finance minister Conor Murphy had warned yesterday that the old electoral register had been wiped after it was updated in June.

He said that to receive the vouchers, due to be sent out next month, people must be registered to vote. The Sinn Féin minister said that less than one-in-three people had re-registered, meaning those who had not done so since June would be ineligible to receive the voucher.

Mr Murphy warned that the voucher scheme could fail to fulfil its aim of stimulating the economy. The scheme aims to provide a boost to the high street following the pandemic lockdowns that saw retailers shut stores for months throughout 2020 and into this year.

However, the Electoral Office said names on the old register should still be able to receive the £100 voucher.

A spokesperson said last night that the register was "not wiped" and only those who had informed the Electoral Office of a change of name or address had been removed, along with the names of those who had died.

However, people will still need to re-register if they wish to vote in upcoming elections, including next May's Stormont Assembly election

"The Electoral Office will process non-responders to canvass towards the end of the canvass period and only then will removals and a process known as retention take place," the spokesperson said of the process.

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