Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Don't let your family/friends lose their vote

Hopefully anyone who bothers to read my blog has also remembered to return their electoral registration form.  However if you haven't - get it in!  But it's also a good idea to talk to friends and neighbours to remind them to return it.  Next year there are local elections in Reading and - assuming the government gets it's act together sufficiently to organise it - there will be elections for police commissioners, in November.

The council's press release is below:
"The annual electoral registration audit began last month (19th August) with electoral registration forms being sent out to all households.

This costs the Council money. Reading Borough Council is therefore urging people to make sure the registration forms are filled in and returned as soon as possible in the pre-paid envelope provided.

Every time a household does not send back their registration form, the Council is obliged to chase households for a response. The Council's door-to-door canvassers have now started to knock on the doors of the households that have not yet responded.

If you are not on the electoral register, it means you will not be able to vote in next year's local elections and therefore not have a say on who runs your local services. Also you will not be able to vote in the proposed Police and Crime Commissioner elections.

Registration forms are in large (A5) white envelopes. It is easy to register. You can complete, sign and return the form in the enclosed pre-paid envelope. If there are no changes to your family details you can confirm this by phone, SMS text, or internet, as explained on the registration form.

Some residents do not think they have to register if their details are the same as previous years. However the register has to be updated annually by law and householders have a legal obligation to complete the form every year. If you have 'rising voters' - young people aged 16 or 17 - living at your address then you should ensure that you add their names to the register so that they can vote when they are 18.

Credit companies also use the electoral register to check for residence, and if residents are not on the register they may experience difficulties in getting credit. Registering for other services or paying Council Tax does not register you to vote.

The annual electoral registration audit in Reading will run for 14 weeks, until 21 November 2011. The Council encourages all households to respond as soon as possible. Please help your Council to save your money by doing so. If no response is received, canvassers will knock on doors for 9 weeks from 16th September 2011 until 21st November 2011.

The Council reminds all Borough residents that they have a legal duty to complete and return the electoral registration forms that are being sent to their homes."