Thursday, 24 March 2011

Don’t let registration myths mean you miss your chance to vote

Lancaster City Council is warning people that believing urban myths about electoral registration could mean missing out on the chance to vote in the local elections taking place on 5th May.

There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding registration, but it is important to know the real rights and wrongs behind the process.

  • Paying council tax does not get you on the register of electors.
  • If you are not registered you may find it difficult to open a bank account and it may affect your credit rating, as the register of electors is often used to verify a person’s existence and for credit referencing purposes to counteract fraud.
  • Students can lawfully register at both their term time address and another address they are resident at outside of term time.
  • Commercial companies do not have automatic access to your details.  Since 2002 there have been two versions of the register – the full and the edited. You are able to opt out of the edited version simply by ticking a box on the form that you receive annually, or on a rolling registration form.  The edited version is available for general sale and can be used for any purpose.

The last day for registering to vote in this year’s local government elections, and the referendum on the Alternative Vote, is 14th April 2011.

Canvass forms were delivered between August and November last year, so if you filled one in you should still be registered and do not need to do so again unless you have since moved home.

• More information and registration forms can be obtained either via www.aboutmyvote.co.uk or directly from Lancaster City Council by contacting the elections office on 01524 582905.

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