More than 60,000 households are being contacted this month to make sure Stafford Borough’s electoral register is up to date.
You must be on the register to vote in local and national polls – with elections for Staffordshire County Council and the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner expected to take place next May. But not being on the register also affects a person’s credit rating which can lead to issues when buying a house or taking out a phone contract, for example.
Letters asking residents to check whether information that appears on the electoral register for those living at their address is correct will be sent out from Monday 27 July.
And for the first time the council will be using email to collect responses for the annual canvass, if people have previously supplied their email addresses to the Elections Office, in a move that the authority hope will speed up the process and save taxpayers money.
Around 15,000 people will be sent an email from Monday 6 July and if the information is correct the recipient only needs to reply to say so. This follows a change in national regulations which allows local authorities to collect information this way.
Electoral Registration Officer, Tim Clegg, who is Chief Executive of Stafford Borough Council, encouraged people to respond as soon as possible to the canvass to save the cost of reminders having to be sent out.
He said: “Your right to vote on who runs the government or local authorities, who make decisions affecting all our lives, is the cornerstone of a healthy democracy.
“It is very easy to make sure you are able to have your say at future elections, simply check the information on the letter or email when it arrives and return it as promptly as possible.”
The canvass will also help identify any residents who are not registered so that they can be encouraged to do so. Anyone needing to change details can do it online or contact Stafford Borough Council.
He added: “And remember if you have moved house in the last 12 months you will need to be registered at your new address so please look out for these letters or emails.”
Press Release 5656