To vote, you need to be on the electoral register and 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.
West Suffolk Council is responsible for voter registration and administers all elections and referendums in the district. The next scheduled elections will be in May 2023 for district, town and parish councils.
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.
This is the third year the council will be contacting households by email and text messages, where this information has been supplied by electors. Postal forms will be sent during August and September to households where this information is not held. Personal visits to non-responding households will then take place in the autumn.
John Griffiths, leader of West Suffolk Council, said: “We are asking residents to keep an eye out for our annual canvass communications, to help us make sure we have the right details on the electoral register. We are contacting over 80,000 households with 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 in the past and includes a unique code that allows you to go online to securely check and update your details. We have used this method in past years. It is secure, makes it easier for people to respond and register as well as making the system more efficient, also saving money for taxpayers.
“It is of course important that everyone who is entitled to vote is able to do so and making sure you provide the necessary information will help us ensure the process runs as smoothly as possible.”
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 you 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/canvass