‘Don’t forget to register for your democratic right to vote’

Editorial image
Editorial image

Are you registered to vote? That’s the question that Aylesbury Vale District Council will be asking residents as the annual voter registration canvass takes place across the district.

Over the next few weeks, we will be sending residents a household enquiry form (HEF) which will provide the name and address details of all those currently on the register of electors – the list of those who may vote at elections and referendums. People are being asked to either confirm or amend the details and add in the names of anyone at the property who is 16 years of age or older, a British, Irish or Commonwealth citizen or a citizen of a European member state. 
Aylesbury Vale residents have always been excellent at using the automated systems to confirm their details and this year we hope to receive even more responses by text, phone or through the dedicated website. 
The general and local elections held this May were the first held under individual electoral registration (IER) which replaced a household registration process (where one person could register everyone in the household) with a system where everyone has personal responsibility to make sure they are registered. We made rigorous efforts to encourage people to register in the run-up to the elections and by the registration deadline we had 135,000 electors registered to vote. 
But with the annual electoral register due to be published on 1 December this year, the process of updating the register must begin again – building on the work which has already been carried out. By law every household must respond to the HEF and anybody who does not could receive a visit from an electoral canvasser and be liable to a fine of up to £1,000. Not being registered could also impact on your life in other ways. It could make it harder for your address to be verified by companies when you’re trying to get a mobile phone contract, for example, or a loan or mortgage, because credit reference agencies use the register to confirm where you live.