MP Chris Ruane examines question of compulsory voting

Media caption,
About 82,000 people in Wales are not on the voting register

It could be time to consider forcing people to vote because more than 20 million do not take part in elections, a Welsh MP has said.

Labour Vale of Clwyd MP Chris Ruane is a member of a Commons committee whose members were split on the question of forcing people to vote.

A report published on Thursday calls for a consultation on the issue after May's general election.

The UK government said it had no plans to introduce compulsory voting.

The report, by the Commons' Political and Constitutional Reform Committee, was published to coincide with national voter registration day.

Mr Ruane told BBC Sunday Politics Wales the matter "warrants looking at - it's a big step, it's a bold step".

"Some may say it's a step too far but I believe having 14 million people off the register, having 22 million people not voting, is a step too far backwards," he said.


Meanwhile, Labour claims more than 82,000 people have fallen off the electoral roll in Wales this year, because of a new system requiring people to register individually rather than one member of a household completing a form.

The party's survey of local councils found the number of voters registered in Cardiff was down 23,538 on 2014.

The UK government said 90% of people have been automatically transferred to the new system and everyone else was being contacted directly and encouraged to register online.

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