Annual canvass 2021 – Don’t lose your voice!

Press release: 9 August 2021

Residents in Lichfield District urged to check their voter registration details from Lichfield District Council.

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 by-elections and neighbourhood plan referendums potentially taking place in Lichfield District, this is an important opportunity for residents to make sure they can take part.

The annual canvass ensures Lichfield District Council can keep the electoral register up to date, identifying any residents who are not registered to vote so that they can be encouraged to do so.

Tony McGovern, Electoral Registration Officer at Lichfield District Council, said: “It’s important that residents look out for messages from the council, so we can make sure we have the right details on the electoral register for every address across the district.

“We will send you a letter with the information we hold. Simply follow the instructions and only respond if you need to make any changes, to make sure you are able to have your say.

“If you’re not registered, your name will not appear in the letter. Please follow the instructions and add your name. You will also need to register yourself – 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.”

People who have moved recently are particularly encouraged to look out for the voter registration letter and 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 Britain, 92% of people who have been at their property for more than 16 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 www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.”

Find out more at www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/elections.

Ends

Media enquiries

Esther Epstein, Press & Communications Officer, Lichfield District Council
t. 01543 308778 m. 07834 951630 e. esther.epstein@lichfielddc.gov.uk

Notes to editors

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.

British citizens, Irish citizens and qualifying citizens of Commonwealth countries (including Cyprus and Malta) can vote in local government elections, Mayor of London and London Assembly elections, and Police and Crime Commissioner elections. To date, the UK Government has not made changes to the eligibility of EU citizens, meaning at present they too can vote in these elections.

Full details of the Electoral Commission’s research on the electoral registers can be found on its website at www.electoralcommission.org.uk.