Electors in West Suffolk are being urged not to lose their voice on decisions that affect them by checking their electoral registration details are up to date.
The annual canvass, which is a legal requirement, ensures that West Suffolk Council can keep the electoral register up to date. It helps identify any residents who are not registered to vote so that they can be encouraged to do so.
John Griffiths, leader of West Suffolk Council, said: “We are asking residents to keep an eye out for our annual canvass communications, so we can make sure we have the right details on the electoral register. We are contacting all our 83,000 households with quick and easy instructions to follow to ensure you are registered and able to have your say at elections. The communication may be an email, text or posted form, depending on the information you have supplied and includes a unique code that allows you to go online to securely check and update your details. We used this method last year and it makes it easier for people to respond and register as well as making the system more efficient, saving money for taxpayers.
“It is really important that everyone who is entitled to vote is able to do so. Making sure you provide the necessary information 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.”
This is the second year that the council will be contacting households by email and text messages, using information supplied by electors.
Email and text messages will be sent where an email address or mobile number is held. Postal forms will be sent during August and September. Personal visits to non-responding households will then take place in the autumn.
In particular, people who have moved recently are being asked to check the details held for their address. Research indicates you are 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 16 years will be registered, compared to 36% of people who have lived at an address for less than one year.
If people are not currently registered, their name will not appear in the communication they receive. To register to vote, go online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
For more information about the annual canvass and registering to vote, go online at www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/canvass2021