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Don’t lose your voice

Publication date:

Residents in St Albans District are urged not to lose their voice by making sure their electoral registration details are up to date.

With local elections taking place in May next year, it is important that residents make sure they can vote.

St Albans City and District Council carries out an annual cavass to keep the electoral register up to date.

This identifies any residents who are not registered so that they can be encouraged to do so.

In previous years, every home in the District was sent a household enquiry form with instructions that they were asked to complete.

However, this year there is a major change that has been planned for some time and should simplify the process.

The Council estimates that no changes will be needed to the electoral register at around 80% of the District’s 60,000-plus properties.

They will be contacted by email or letter to confirm the details held on the electoral register. There will be instructions on how to inform the Council of any changes that need to be made.

The remaining households, where it is suspected there has been change, will be sent a canvass form with instructions on how to respond.  If there is no reply, a canvasser may visit the property.

Anyone who is not registered can do so online in a few minutes at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote,

Amanda Foley, the Council’s Electoral Registration Officer, said:

It’s important that residents keep an eye out for messages from us so we can make sure we have the right details on the electoral register for every address in the District.

To make sure you are able to have your say at elections, simply follow the instructions that you are given.

This year’s canvass, which we have to carry out by law, is taking place during a challenging public health situation. We are working to ensure that we take account of public health guidelines, including social distancing,on any visits we have to make.

People who have moved recently are particularly encouraged to look out for the voter registration messages and check the details.

Research by the Electoral Commission indicates that recent home movers are far less likely to be registered than those who have lived at the same address for a long time.

Across Great Britain, 92% of people who have been at their property for more than sixteen years will be registered, compared to 36% 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.

Making sure you provide the necessary information to your local authority when it is needed will ensure the process runs smoothly. This is particularly helpful in the current public health situation, as it will help avoid the need for home visits from canvassers.

There’s lots of helpful information about registering to vote on our website https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/voter.

Any residents who have any questions can contact the registration team at electoralregistration@stalbans.gov.uk.

Media contact: 

John McJannet, Principal Communications Officer: 01727-819533;  john.mcjannet@stalbans.gov.uk.