Don’t lose your vote – residents in the Cotswolds urged to check voter registration details
Cotswold District residents are being urged to check their electoral registration details or risk losing their chance to vote on decisions that affect them as the Council starts its Annual Canvass to check everyone's voting details are up to date.
With local elections taking place in May 2023, this is an opportunity for residents to make sure they can take part.
Robert Weaver, Electoral Registration Officer at Cotswold District Council, said: “Keep an eye out for communications from us in the coming weeks which will contain information on what you need to do to make sure your household is fully registered for the next election.
“The annual canvass is our way of making sure that the information on the electoral register for every address is accurate. To make sure you don’t lose your say at the next election, please make sure you respond.
“We would also ask that you respond to the emails we are sending as soon as you are able so that we don't need to send any follow-ups and can save both time and paper.
“If you don’t hear from the council, you might not be on the register. If you want to register, the easiest way is online at gov.uk/register-to-vote.”
The annual canvass allows the Council to keep the electoral register up to date, identify who risks losing their voice at elections and encourage them to register before it’s too late.
Recent home movers in particular are urged to check their details. Electoral Commission research has found that recent home movers are less likely to be registered than those who have lived at the same address for a long time. In Great Britain, 92% of those who have lived in their home for 16 years will be registered, compared with 36% of people who have lived at an address for less than a year.
The Council will be contacting households via post in the coming months with information on what the householder needs to do to make sure their details are accurate. There will also be council staff door knocking as part of the engagement who will carry formal identification.
The first communication will be an email and the council is encouraging people to respond to that email so that it is not necessary to send a follow-up posted letter.
Residents can find out more about elections on the website at cotswold.gov.uk/elections. Anyone with questions about their registration status can contact the council’s electoral services team at Elections@cotswold.gov.uk or by calling 01285 623002.
Cotswold District Council Communications Team
Notes to editors
- 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 reasons as specified in law, such as detecting crime (e.g. fraud), calling people for jury service or checking credit applications.
- 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
- British citizens, Irish citizens and qualifying Commonwealth citizens can vote in local elections in England and Northern Ireland, Mayor of London and London Assembly elections, and Police and Crime Commissioner elections.
- EU nationals legally resident in the UK may currently register to vote in all elections. The Elections Act 2022 will change the eligibility of some EU citizens to vote. Changes are expected to be in place for local elections in England, Police and Crime Commissioners elections in England and Wales in 2024. Local elections in Northern Ireland and England in May 2023 are expected to be held on the current rules.
- The changes in voting rights for EU nationals will not affect voters from Cyprus, Malta and Ireland.
- Full details of the Electoral Commission’s research on the electoral registers can be found on its website.