13/08/2020 - Permalink

Shropshire households urged to look out for important voter registration information

Related topics: Democracy

A picture of a polling station to demonstrate voting.

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

With local elections due to take place at Shropshire Council in May 2021, this is an important opportunity for people to make sure they can take part.

The annual canvass ensures that the electoral register is kept up-to-date, identifying any residents who are not yet registered, so that they can be encouraged to do so. They would then be able take part in any future elections.

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

Claire Porter, electoral registration officer at Shropshire Council said:

“It’s important that residents keep an eye out for messages from us, which this year for many people, will be in the form of an email, rather than a form through the post.

“Electors should carefully follow the instructions contained in the voter registration message, so that we can make sure we have all the right details on the electoral register for every address in our area.

“The email will contain a two-part security code and a link to a secure registration website.

“This year’s canvass, which we have to carry out by law, is taking place during a challenging public health situation. We are working hard to ensure that we take account of public health guidelines, including the continued importance of social distancing.”

Voters are being encouraged to complete their online registration process by 28 August, but may, if they prefer call the council’s customer services team on 0345 678 9015.

If people are not currently registered, their name will not appear in the messages send by the council. If they need to register, the easiest way is online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. Information can also be sent by post.

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.

People who have moved recently are particularly encouraged to look out for voter communications 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.

Residents with questions can call Shropshire Council on 0345 678 9015 or email registration@shropshire.gov.uk.