Make sure you are registered to vote

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News release: 08 September 2017

Residents are being reminded to check that their names are on the electoral register so that they can vote in future elections.

Ballot Box. Photo reproduced with kind permission of the Electoral Commission.
Each year St Albans City and District Council is required to carry out an annual voter registration canvass to keep the electoral register up to date.

In July, it sent out household enquiry forms to more than 59,000 homes listing everyone who is registered to vote at that particular address. 

Residents had to respond by either confirming that the form was correct or by updating their details. The majority of households have responded. However, 15,000 households have yet to do so. They have been sent reminders to check the information held on the electoral register for their address is correct. If they do not respond, residents risk their names not being included on the Electoral Register. 

They need to confirm or update the details of eligible voters at their address online at www.householdresponse.com/stalbans . Alternatively, they can use free phone or text to confirm their details are correct. If the information needs to be amended, this can be done by post. Full details of these procedures are included in the reminders that have been sent out.

The annual canvass has so far identified that over 2,500 residents who are eligible to vote are not listed on electoral register at their address. Most of these residents have recently moved home or are approaching voting age. They need to register to be able to vote in future elections. Individual invitations to register have been sent to them advising that the easiest way to do this is online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote . Alternatively, they can complete and return their individual invitation to register to vote. 

Mike Lovelady, the Electoral Registration Officer for St Albans City and District Council said: “To be able to vote in next year’s District Council elections and other polls, your name needs to be on the electoral register. If you have received a reminder to check the information held for your address or an individual invitation to register, you will need to take action.”

More information about electoral registration is available at: www.stalbans.gov.uk/elections. 

If you have any questions, please contact the Council’s Electoral Services team on 01727 819294 or by emailing at elections@stalbans.gov.uk.

People who have moved address recently are encouraged to check that they are registered to vote. The Electoral Commission’s research indicates that recent home movers are less likely to be registered than those who have lived at the same address for a long time. Across Great Britain, 96% of people who have been at their property for more than sixteen years will be registered. This compares to 27% of people who have lived at an address for less than one year.

Mr Lovelady added: “If you have recently moved house, it is particularly important to check that your name is on the Electoral Register so you can vote in future elections. If you have not received any forms from us, please go online to register or call us on 01727 819294.”

Contact for the media:
Amanda Wilkinson, 
Media and Internal Communications Officer 
St Albans City and District Council
Tel: 01727 819317 
E-mail: amanda.wilkinson@stalbans.gov.uk 
www.stalbans.gov.uk
Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/StAlbansCouncil 

Councillor contact:
Cllr Beric Read, Community Engagement and Localism Portfolio Holder 
St Albans City and District Council
Tel: 07956 220264
Email: cllr.b.read@stalbans.gov.uk

Notes:
1. Local elections for St Albans City and District Council are due to take place in May 2018.
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. They can also vote in Police and Crime Commissioner elections in England and Wales. 
6. Full details of the Electoral Commission’s research on the electoral registers can be found here.

Photo Credit:
Electoral Commission