Guernsey

Guernsey's electoral roll 5,500 short of target

A total of 29,745 people have signed up for Guernsey's electoral roll, ahead of the 2012 general election.

The figures are lower than the electoral rolls ahead of the two previous elections in 2004 and 2008.

It was also short of the Home Department's target of 35,000 names on the roll, which closed on 29 February.

It had been estimated there were about 45,000 people eligible to vote, so about a third of the island had not signed up.

Paul Whitfield, chief officer of the department, said: "There aren't significant differences although it's slightly down."

He said the target had been set to "motivate staff" due to the "demanding challenges both economically and politically" of getting people to sign up.

The department said it was confident all islanders were aware of the creation of a new roll and those who wished to be listed on it had sufficient time and options to complete and return a form.

The six-month campaign to get islanders to sign up included forms sent to every household, a dedicated website, door-to-door visits, TV, radio and bus adverts, school visits, road shows and messages printed on 810,000 milk cartons

Mr Whitfield said: "We've seen nearly 200 young people of the age of 15, who aren't even entitled to vote this time round, register as part of the process."

The biggest drop in registered voters compared to the last new roll, created in 2004, was in the west district.

The area, which includes the parishes of the Forest, St Pierre du Bois, St Saviour and Torteval, saw nearly 500 fewer people sign up and went from being the district with the most registered people to the fourth largest.

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