Published Monday, 17th August 2015

Households in Reigate and Banstead are being urged to check important voter registration information sent to them by the Council as part of its annual voter registration canvass.

Each household has been sent a form asking residents to check whether the information that appears on the electoral register for those living at their address is correct. This so we can ensure that the electoral register is up to date and to identify any residents who are not registered so that they can be invited to do so.

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

Respond as soon as possible

John Jory, Electoral Registration Officer for Reigate & Banstead 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 and respond to it as soon as possible.

"The easiest way is online at www.registerbyinternet.com/reigate. The form details all the other ways you can reply.

"If you're not currently registered, it’s important you respond so we can send you information about how to do this, or you can go online 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 to check whether they are registered, as well as any first time voters.

Canvassers will start to visit homes that have not replied, starting next month.

Have you moved recently?

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.

Registering to vote also helps to keep your credit reference up to date.

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 register it 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."

The open register

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 and checking credit applications.

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.

Residents who have questions can contact the Council's elections team at [email protected] or call 01737 276794.