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Farron Welcomes Emergency Legislation To Extend Voter Registration Deadline

June 8, 2016 2:59 PM

Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron has welcomed the news that the government has extended the deadline for registering to vote until midnight on Thursday.

Tim was the first MP to call for an extension last night, when the extent of the problem became clear. Since then, other MPs as well as the Electoral Commission have backed the call for an extension.

Tim criticised the "shambles" which saw a glitch on the government's computer system lasting from 22:15 until midnight. There were over 50,000 users on the website at 22:15, and over 20,000 at 12.01, just after the deadline. Although some users will have been able to register, others were presented with an error message. According to the government's figures, 525,000 people applied to register to vote during the whole day.

Cabinet Office minister Matt Hancock MP said the government would legislate to extend the cut-off until midnight on Thursday.

Tim said: "In light of the technical problems with the government's website yesterday, it is right that the deadline has been extended. This is the most important vote in a generation, and people should not be excluded from participating because of technical hitches. People were applying entirely legitimately before the deadline and were failed by a colossal IT cock up. The government should have anticipated that there would be a last-minute rush and planned accordingly.

"I am urging anyone who has still not registered to do so now, so they can have their voice heard in the European referendum on the 23rd June."