More than 43,000 Reminder Letters Sent Out This Week

A TOTAL of 43,660 households will be receiving a first reminder letter this week as the Council continues its push to ensure as many residents as possible complete their annual canvass form.

With Local Borough elections taking place in Reading in May 2019, local residents are being warned not to lose their voice by making sure they return their household enquiry forms as quickly as possible.

72,367 household enquiry forms were sent out last month. The form 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.

More than 43,000 letters will now be sent out to those households which have failed to respond so far.  The next stage will be to send door-to-door canvassers to outstanding properties at the start of September.

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.

Any residents who have any questions can contact their local registration team at elections@reading.gov.uk or on 0118 937 3717.

Ends

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

Oscar Mortali

For media enquiries about this release email oscar.mortali@reading.gov.uk or call 0118 937 2301