Residents warned not to ignore annual canvass forms

Residents are being warned not to lose their voice on matters that affect them by completing their annual canvass form and returning it to their local authority as soon as possible.

With local elections, including elections to the new West Suffolk Council, taking place in May 2019, this is an important opportunity for residents to make sure they can take part.

The form ensures that West Suffolk councils can keep the electoral register up to date and identify any residents who are not registered so that they can be encouraged to do so. This will mean that residents will be able take part in any future elections.

Ian Gallin Electoral Registration officer at West Suffolk councils said: “It’s important that residents respond as soon as possible, so we can make sure we have the right details on the electoral register for every address in West Suffolk. To make sure you are able to have your say at elections taking place next year, simply check the form when it arrives and respond as soon as you can. Help West Suffolk councils save money by responding online, by phone or by text.

“If you’re not currently registered, your name will not appear on the form. If you want to register, the easiest way is online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote, or we’ll send you information explaining how to do this in the post. In any case, you will still need to complete the form and send it back to us.”

People who have moved address recently are particularly encouraged to keep an eye out for the form and check the details.

Research by the independent Electoral Commission indicates that recent home movers are far less likely to be registered than those that have lived at the same address for a long time.

Across Great Britain, 94% of people who have been at their property for more than 16 years will be registered, compared to 40% of people who have lived at an address for less than one year.

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; checking the form that will arrive through the post is one of the easiest ways to find out if you are already registered. There’s lots of helpful information about registering to vote on our website www.yourvotematters.co.uk.”

Any residents who have any questions can contact their local registration team by emailing elections@westsuffolk.gov.uk<mailto:elections@westsuffolk.gov.uk> by calling our helpline on 01284 757131 or 01638 719366.

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