30/08/2018 - Permalink

Shropshire households urged to look out for important voter registration form in the post

Related topics: Democracy

Residents living in the Shropshire Council area will soon be receiving a form in the post asking them to check and update information that appears on the electoral register for their address.

Initial forms are due to be delivered on or around 3 September 2018. Reminders will be sent out on 1 October 2018 to those who haven’t responded, with final reminders sent in late October.

National legislation requires that Shropshire Council must send out the forms annually at this time of year.

The form ensures that Shropshire 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.

Responses can be sent online, by phone, by text, or by signing and returning the form by post.

Even if you responded last year you must still do this year.

Claire Porter, electoral registration officer at Shropshire Council, said:

“It’s important that residents look out for the form and respond as soon as possible, so we can make sure we have the right details on the electoral register for every address in our area.
“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.

Canvassers will be out in 22 areas across the county from 26 October until 18 November, and telephone canvassing will be carried out from 8 October to 16 November to help reach the more rural areas of the county.

Any residents who have any questions can contact Shropshire Council’s elections team on 0345 678 9015.

Some frequently-asked questions about the canvass

Q – My form has been lost / destroyed

A – Don’t worry we will be sending reminder letters to those households that have not responded. These will be sent on 1 October. Please wait for this to be received and then respond.

Q – I have already responded to the form, however have received a reminder. Do I need to do this again?

A – We will have sent a reminder because we have not received a response to the original. Please reply again.

Q – How do I change opt in/out status for the open register?

A – Call us on 0345 678 9015. We will then confirm your request in writing

Q – The form says I have a postal or a proxy vote in place, How do I cancel ?

A – You will need to write to us or email (email address must include full name of the elector) to request cancellation (Electoral Services, Shirehall, Shropshire SY2 6ND or email elections@shropshire.gov.uk)

Q – How do I apply for a postal or proxy vote?

A – You must complete the relevant application that can be downloaded from www.yourvotematters.co.uk.

Q – I have changed my name (marriage/divorce/deed poll)

A – You can apply to register to vote with your new name at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote: please ensure that you provide your previous surname so that the new application  can be linked to your old registration. Alternatively, please update your details on the household enquiry form. Once received we will send you a Change of Name form for completion and return. We will need a copy of your marriage/decree absolute or deed poll document to accompany the form.

Further information about the electoral register and voting

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. Full details of the Electoral Commission’s research on the electoral registers can be found here.