Local residents are being warned not to lose their voice on decisions that affect them by making sure their electoral registration details are up to date.
With Police and Crime Commissioner elections taking place in Torbay in May 2021, this is an important opportunity for residents to make sure they can take part.
The annual canvass ensures that Torbay Council can keep the electoral register up to date, identifying any residents who are not registered so that they can be encouraged to do so.
Anne-Marie Bond, Electoral Registration Officer at Torbay Council said: “It’s important that residents keep an eye out for messages from us, so we can make sure we have the right details on the electoral register for every address in Torbay. We need this to make sure you are able to have your say at elections taking place next year. Unless you are on the electoral register, you will be unable to vote.
“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 either by email or in the post.
“This year’s canvass, which we have to carry out by law, is taking place during a challenging public health situation. We are working to ensure that we take account of public health guidelines, including the continued importance of social distancing”
People who have moved recently are particularly encouraged to look out for the voter registration messages from Torbay Council and check the details. This year’s canvass is slightly different to previous years due to changes brought in by the Cabinet Office to make the canvass easier for households. These changes mean that some households will be contacted in mid-August by post or by email (those who have previously provided their email address to the Council) and will be asked to update and confirm their details. The remaining households will be contacted by post in September – these housholds will not need to respond unless there have been any changes to their details. For further information visit www.torbay.gov.uk/annual-canvass-2020
Research by the Electoral Commission indicates that recent home movers are far 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 sixteen years will be registered, compared to 36% 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. Making sure you provide the necessary information to your local authority 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.
“There’s lots of helpful information about registering to vote on our website https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/voter.”
Any residents who have any questions can contact their local registration team by email at email@example.com or phone 01803 208008.
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