By now all households should have received an electoral registration form, which needs to be responded to, to ensure that eligible people are registered to vote. Aylesbury Vale District Council is asking residents to respond to this form straight away to help prevent the council having to waste public money reminding them to do so.
Chris Sheard, Electoral Services Manager, said: “Last year, we had to visit 12,839 households, as they had not registered to vote, which cost the council £17,336.75. With the need to make savings and to protect public money we want to stop this waste, but we need residents to help us.”
It’s about more than just voting as the electoral register is also one of the criteria used by credit checking agencies. People not on the register may find it difficult to get a loan, mortgage or mobile phone contract. Other pitfalls include not being eligible to apply for certain jobs, which require security checks or being able to open a bank account. Not being registered could also result in a fine of up to £1,000.
Most people simply need to tell the council that the information about them is still correct. You can do this by visiting a secure website, by text or by calling a Freephone number. Using these methods can help reduce the costs of keeping the electoral register up to date. If any details on the form need to be changed you will have to post the form back in the pre-paid envelope provided.
On the electoral registration form residents can opt to have their details excluded from the edited register. This will mean their details could not be bought by individuals and commercial organisations. Electors using the telephone or internet services can opt in or out. Residents using the form will need to place a tick in the appropriate column to opt out, or leave the column blank.
The next elections taking place are the European elections on 22 May 2014.
You can respond straight away by:
Calling our 24 hour Freephone number 0800 197 6185
Text message to 80212
Or, if you cannot use the above options or wish to make changes, return the form by post.
For more information or help with your form call Electoral Registration on 01296 585807.