Published Tuesday, 27 November 2012
There is concern about the accuracy of the electoral register. (© UTV)
It has been revealed as many as 400,000 people are not listed at their correct address.
According to the Electoral Commission an estimated one in five of the entries are inaccurate.
The poll, which canvassed 1,500 addresses, suggested the processes currently employed by chief electoral officer Graham Shields to manage the register had not kept pace with either people moving home or people becoming newly eligible to join.
It found that the register is now 71% complete and 78% accurate - down from figures recorded in 2008 when it was estimated at 83% complete and 94% accurate.
Anna Carragher, electoral commissioner for NI, has called for action.
She said: "The findings of our research are a matter of serious concern.
"They could have far-reaching consequences for both participation and public confidence in elections. We have important elections coming up over the next four years which will depend on complete and accurate electoral registers.
"Continuing with the status quo for managing the register is simply not an option."
Mr Shields said the process is still comparatively new and is continuing to evolve, but admitted it is disappointing the results were not more accurate.
He continued: "It is important to point out that a registration system is only as good as the information that is received and there is an onus on individuals to ensure that they are on the electoral register and that their details are correct."