Published Friday, 14th August 2020

Local residents are being urged not to lose their voice on decisions that affect them by making sure their electoral registration details are up to date.

Changes to the canvass process this year mean that residents may receive an email or text message from us  about this for the first time.

Megaphone image with 'Don;t lose your voice as future elections' messageWith Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner, County Councillor and Borough Councillor elections taking place in May 2021, this is an important opportunity for residents to make sure they can take part.

The annual canvass ensures that Reigate & Banstead Borough Council can keep the electoral register up to date and invite any residents who are not registered to do so. 

New process - email and text

Mari Roberts-Wood, Electoral Registration Officer at Reigate & Banstead Borough Council, said: “It’s important that residents keep an eye out for messages from us, so we can make sure we have the right details on the electoral register for every address in the borough.

"This year, the government has introduced changes to the canvass process, so you may also receive an email or text message from us. To make sure you are able to have your say at elections taking place next year, simply follow the instructions we send you. 

“If you’re not currently registered, your name will not appear in the messages we send. The easiest way to register is online, or we’ll send you information explaining how to do this.

“This year’s canvass, which we have to carry out by law, is taking place during a challenging public health situation. Please respond to messages promptly to minimise the need for our staff to visit homes to confirm details.” 

Moved home recently?

People who have moved recently are particularly encouraged to look out for their voter registration messages and check their details carefully. 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.

Being registered for Council Tax does not mean you are registred to vote. It can also be harder to get credit if you’re not registered as it can affect your credit rating.

Take action promptly

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 the Commission's website.”

More information

See the Annual canvass page for more information.