Don’t lose your voice – residents in the Cotswolds urged to check their voter registration details

Cotswold District Council Press Release – 9 August 2021

Local residents are being reminded not to lose their voice on decisions that affect them by making sure their electoral registration details are up to date when contacted by the Council.

The annual canvass, which is run every year, will soon be taking place to ensure that Cotswold District Council can keep the electoral register up to date and identify any residents who are not registered to vote so that they can be encouraged to do so.

Residents will be sent a letter or email over the next few months with clear instructions asking them to confirm their details or update them.

Robert Weaver, Chief Executive and Electoral Registration Officer at Cotswold District Council, said: “It’s important that residents lookout for messages from us so we can make sure we have the right details on the electoral register for every address in the Cotswolds ahead of future elections.

“Simply follow the instructions sent to you and if you receive an email, please respond to save us having to send any follow-up paper correspondence.

“If you’re not currently registered, your name will not appear in the messages we send. If you want to register, the easiest way is online at gov.uk/register-to-vote, or we’ll send you information explaining how to do this in the post.”

The emails should not be confused for a scam – all emails will be sent from elections@cotswold.gov.uk with a subject line of ‘Cotswold District Council – Electoral Registration Canvas’.

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, published in 2019, 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 (only 36% of people who have lived at an address for less than one year).

Information on registering to vote is available on the Electoral Commission website and residents can register by visiting the Government website at gov.uk/register-to-vote.

Any residents who have any questions can contact their local registration team at 01285 623002 or email elections@cotswold.gov.uk. Alternatively, residents can visit the Council website at cotswold.gov.uk/elections.

Note:

  1. The Representation of the People Act 1983 places a duty on Electoral Registration Officers to maintain the electoral register for their area and to conduct an annual canvass of all residential properties.
  2. The electoral register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote. 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.
  1. Full details of the Electoral Commission’s research on the electoral registers can be found on its website.