Local residents urged to respond to voter canvass forms

Published Thursday, 16th July 2015

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Southend-on-Sea households will soon be receiving a form asking them to check whether information on the electoral register for those living at their address is correct.

This is part of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s annual voter registration canvass.

The aim of the form is to ensure that the electoral register is up to date and to identify any residents who are not registered so that they can be encouraged to do so.

With local elections, and Police and Crime Commissioner elections taking place across the country in May 2016, this is an opportunity for residents to make sure that when the elections take place they will be able to take part.

Rob Tinlin, Chief Executive of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council said:

“Anyone that wants to vote must be registered. To make sure you are able to have your say at the elections next year, simply check the form when it arrives, carefully read the instructions and respond as promptly as possible.

“If you’re not currently registered, we will send you information explaining how to do this or you can just go online to apply to register at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote .”

It is particularly important that anyone who has moved address recently looks out for the form and checks whether they are registered.

Research by the independent Electoral Commission indicates that across Great Britain, recent home movers are far less likely to be registered than those that have lived at the same address for a long time. The research showed that 94 % of people who have been at their property for more than sixteen years will be registered compared to 40% of people who have lived at an address for less than one year.

The same research indicates that whilst almost 95% of outright home owners are registered, this is the case for only 63% of private renters.

Kay Jenkins, Head of English regions at the Electoral Commission said:

“The annual canvass is an opportunity for people to easily check whether they’re registered. It’s essential for a healthy democracy that everyone who is entitled to vote is able to, and for those who need to registering is now easier than ever with the online system of registration.”

“If you have changed address in the last year, it’s particularly likely that you will need to register at your new address, so check the form as soon as it arrives.”

This year householders can respond to their form by internet, telephone or by text. Full details of how to do this will be on the front page of the form.

Any residents who have any questions can contact the elections team by calling 01702 215010 or visiting www.southend.gov.uk/elections