Don't lose your voice - residents urged to check their voter registration details

Last Updated: 25 July 2022

25 July 2022

The annual canvass by South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) to ensure the electoral register is up to date is about to start.

Residents will receive an email or letter in the next few weeks listing the names of everyone the council has registered to vote at the property. Around 80 per cent of households will only need to respond if the information needs to be updated.

The council is legally required to ensure the electoral register is up to date, identifying any residents who are not registered to vote so they can be encouraged to do so. This involves checking every year to find out if anyone who is eligible to register to vote has, for example:

  • moved in or out of a property
  • turned 16 and is therefore old enough to register to vote
  • or needs to change any other information, such as someone would like to vote by post from now on.

Simon McVey, the council’s Electoral Registration Officer, said: “It’s important that residents look out for messages from SLDC so we can make sure we have the right details on the electoral register for every address in South Lakeland.

“People who have moved recently are particularly encouraged to check their details because research by the Electoral Commission indicates that recent home movers are far less likely to be registered to vote than those who have lived at the same address for a long time.

"If you need to respond, the quickest and easiest way to do this is online, using the link and security numbers given in your email or letter.

"If you don’t use the internet you can respond by telephone. Your email or letter will tell you how to respond by text message, automated telephone or by calling our office.

“If you’re not currently registered, your name will not appear in the messages we send. 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.”

SLDC will use the information from this year’s canvass to publish the Register of Electors on 1 December 2022.

You can find out more about the annual canvass, electoral registration and voting at: www.southlakeland.gov.uk/voting-and-elections

Notes

  • The Representation of the People Act 1983 places a duty on Electoral Registration Officers to maintain the electoral register for their area and to conduct an annual canvass of all residential properties.
  • The electoral register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote. The register is used for electoral purposes, such as making sure only eligible people can vote. It is also used for other limited purposes specified in law, such as detecting crime (e.g. fraud), calling people for jury service or checking credit applications.
  • The open register is an extract of the electoral register, but is not used for elections. It can be bought by any person, company or organisation. For example, it is used by businesses and charities to confirm name and address details. Your name and address will be included in the open register unless you ask for them to be removed. Removing your details from the open register does not affect your right to vote.
  • To be eligible to register to vote a person must be:
    • Aged 16 or over (a person may register to vote at 16, but may not vote until they are 18)
    • A British or qualifying Commonwealth citizen who has leave to enter and remain in the UK or does not require such leave.
    • A citizen of the Republic of Ireland or other European Union (EU) member state.