Residents urged to fill in electoral canvass form

Published 5th August 2019

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Households across Sandwell will soon receive a form checking the information on the electoral register for people living at their address is correct.

The form ensures the electoral register is up to date and will also identify any residents who are not registered to vote.

With Sandwell Council elections taking place in May 2020, it’s an important opportunity for residents to make sure that they can take part in future elections.

The easiest way to respond to the letter is to confirm the details online, by text or phone. The form can also be returned by post. There are instructions with the letter telling residents how to respond.

It is a legal requirement to provide the information requested; if you don't you could be fined £1,000.

If you still don't respond you risk being removed from the register. If you're not registered, you can’t vote and your credit score may be affected.

David Stevens, Sandwell Council’s Electoral Registration Officer, said: “It’s important that residents respond to this letter as soon as possible, so we can make sure we have the right details on the electoral register for every address in Sandwell.

“To make sure you are able to have your say at elections taking place next year, simply check the form when it arrives and respond as soon as you can.

“If you’re not currently registered, your name will not appear on the form. If you want to register, the easiest way is online, or we’ll send you information explaining how to do this in the post. In any case, you will still need to respond to the form."

People who have moved address recently are particularly encouraged to keep an eye out for the form and to check the details.

Research by the independent Electoral Commission indicates that recent home movers are far less likely to be registered than those that have lived at the same address for a long time. Across Great Britain, 94% of people who have been at their property for more than sixteen years will be registered compared to 40% 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 form that will arrive through the post is one of the easiest ways to find out if you are already registered. There’s lots of helpful information about registering to vote on our website.”

Anyone with any questions can contact Sandwell Council’s elections team by email on electoral_services@sandwell.gov.uk or call 0121 569 3244.