Local residents are being warned not to lose their voice on matters that affect them by completing their annual canvass form and returning it to their local authority as soon as possible.
With Local Borough elections taking place in Reading Borough Council in May 2019, this is an important opportunity for residents to make sure they can take part.
The form – which is being sent out this week – ensures that Reading Borough Council can keep the electoral register up to date and identify any residents who are not registered so that they can be encouraged to do so. This will mean that residents will be able take part in any future elections.
Christopher Brooks, Electoral Registration Returning Officer at Reading Borough Council, said:
“It’s important that residents respond as soon as possible, so we can make sure we have the right details on the electoral register for every address in Reading. To make sure you are able to have your say at elections taking place next year, simply check the form when it arrives and respond as soon as you can.
“If you’re not currently registered, your name will not appear on the form. If you want to register, the easiest way is online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote, or we’ll send you information explaining how to do this in the post. In any case, you will still need to complete the form and send it back to us.”
People who have moved address recently are particularly encouraged to keep an eye out for the form and check the details. Research by the independent Electoral Commission indicates that recent home movers are far less likely to be registered than those that have lived at the same address for a long time. Across Great Britain, 94% of people who have been at their property for more than sixteen years will be registered, compared to 40% of people who have lived at an address for less than one year.
Melanie Davidson, Head of Support and Improvement at the Electoral Commission, said:
“It’s really important that everyone who is entitled to vote is able to do so; checking the form that will arrive through the post is one of the easiest ways to find out if you are already registered. There’s lots of helpful information about registering to vote on our website www.yourvotematters.co.uk.”
Any residents who have any questions can contact their local registration team at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0118 937 3717.
Notes to editors
1. Local Borough elections are taking place in Reading in May 2019.
2. The electoral register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in public elections. The register is used for electoral purposes, such as making sure only eligible people can vote. It is also used for other limited purposes specified in law, such as: detecting crime (e.g. fraud), calling people for jury service or checking credit applications.
3. The open register is an extract of the electoral register, but is not used for elections. It can be bought by any person, company or organisation. For example, it is used by businesses and charities to confirm name and address details. Your name and address will be included in the open register unless you ask for them to be removed. Removing your details from the open register does not affect your right to vote.
4. To be eligible to register to vote a person must be:
– Aged 16 or over (a person may register to vote at 16, but may not vote until they are 18)
– A British or qualifying Commonwealth citizen who has leave to enter and remain in the UK or does not require such leave.
– A citizen of the Republic of Ireland or other European Union (EU) member state.
5. British citizens, Irish citizens and qualifying citizens of Commonwealth countries (including Cyprus and Malta), as well as citizens of other EU member states can vote in local government elections and Police and Crime Commissioner elections in England and Wales.
6. Full details of the Electoral Commission’s research on the electoral registers: https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/169889/Completeness-and-accuracy-of-the-2014-electoral-registers-in-Great-Britain.pdf