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 the next scheduled elections taking place in May 2022, this is an important opportunity for residents to make sure they can take part.
Following the recent decision by Secretary of State for Local Government, MP, Robert Jenrick to replace all five councils in Somerset with a single unitary council, the annual canvass will ensure that the new shadow authority, which will be in place by May next year, can keep the electoral register up to date by identifying any residents who are not registered to vote so that they can be encouraged to do so.
Annual canvas letters will be sent to residents in the first week of August to ensure everyone can have their say at all future elections.
It should be noted that any constituents not currently registered will be absent from the letters they receive, in which case if they wish to register, the easiest way is online at gov.uk/register-to-vote, or SWT’s Electoral Services team can send information explaining how to do this in the post.
People who have moved recently are particularly encouraged to look out for their letters and to check the details.
Research by the Electoral Commission, published in 2019, 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. Checking the messages that you will get from your local authority is the easiest way to see if you’re registered to vote. If you’re not, make sure you provide the necessary information to your local authority when it is needed and register to vote online at gov.uk/register-to-vote.”
Information on registering to vote is available on the Electoral Commission website.
For more detailed information, visit the council’s Annual canvass webpage.