Don’t lose your vote – residents in West Oxfordshire urged to check voter registration details
West Oxfordshire residents are being urged to check their electoral registration details as the Council starts its Annual household Canvass to check everyone's voting details are up to date.
With District Council, Parish Council and Police and Crime Commissioner elections taking place in May 2024 and a General Election due soon, this is an opportunity for residents to make sure they can take part.
Giles Hughes, Electoral Registration Officer at West Oxfordshire 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, including updating your household details if needed.
“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 you to respond 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 have recently moved, you might not be on the register. The easiest way to register to vote is online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.”
The annual canvass allows the Council to keep the electoral register up to date, to identify who risks losing their voice at elections, and to 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.
Residents can find out more about registering to vote by visiting the council website at www.westoxon.gov.uk/elections.
Anyone with questions about their registration status can contact the council’s electoral services team at email@example.com or by calling 01993 861410.
West Oxfordshire 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.
- 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 Commonwealth citizens can vote in local elections in England and Northern Ireland, Mayor of London and London Assembly elections, Police and Crime Commissioner elections and general elections.
- EU nationals legally resident in the UK may currently register to vote in local government elections, providing they meet with the age and residency requirements and that they are not legally incapable of voting. The Elections Act 2022 will change the eligibility of some EU citizens to vote. Changes are expected to come into force in May 7 2024, after local elections in England, Police and Crime Commissioners elections in England and Wales in 2024.
- 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.