Changes to voter registration

Voter registration PNL-140718-144133001

Voter registration PNL-140718-144133001

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More than 60,000 letters were sent to residents this week informing them of the biggest shake-up of how they register to vote.

As part of a nationwide initiative to help reduce electoral fraud and improve accountability, the government has launched the Individual Electoral Registration system, known as IER, which makes every eligible voter responsible for registering themselves to vote.

Previously each household across the UK received a single form asking for details of all eligible voters within the property, but this will now be replaced by the new system which will write to every voter individually.

Residents in Brackley and Towcester will be receiving letters from South Northants Council, making them aware of the new arrangements.

James Doble, South Northants Council’s (SNC) deputy electoral registration officer, said: “The government is rolling out the new IER system across the UK.

“For the vast majority of eligible voters, they will not need to do anything as they will automatically have had their details transferred from the old system, to the new one.

“However, for about 9,000 residents in south Northants they will need to provide some or all of their details and for the first time ever, this can be done online or over the phone.

“All they need is to submit this information along with their date of birth and national insurance number.”

Where possible, the government has automatically transferred eligible electors by matching personal details against those held by the Department for Work and Pensions.

In this instance, individuals will receive a letter from SNC advising them they will not need to do anything further.

In south Northants, about 60,000 of the district’s eligible voters have been matched.

The remaining 9,000 voters will receive a letter advising them that their details were not able to be confirmed.

If this occurs, residents need to go online or call SNC to provide their information. A national insurance number and date of birth will be required.

Residents who have not received any letter by the end of July should register their details online or submit them over the phone.

Mr Doble added: “This new system will make every person responsible for their own registration and will make it harder for people to defraud the system by submitting false details.

“It is important every eligible voter ensures they are included on the electoral register as this is used to provide credit checks for mortgages, credit cards and mobile phone contracts.

“If residents fail to submit their details, they could have any of these applications refused and receive a poor credit rating.”

Residents are being advised to check their letters and contact SNC immediately if there are any errors including letters which are sent to people who no longer live at their address.

For more information, or to register details online visit www.gov.uk/register-to-vote, or call 01327 322128.