Check now to ensure you can vote next May

August 28 2015

Double check that you are registered to vote. This is the recent message to residents as part of the council’s annual household canvass.

Double check that you are registered to vote. This is the recent message to residents as part of the council’s annual household canvass.

Thousands of surveys have been posted through people’s letterboxes, asking residents to confirm that the information appearing on the electoral register matches that of those living at the address.

People are being prompted to respond to the form – via online, phone, text or post – to confirm the correct details or report any changes.

Redland councillor Martin Fodor says that it is important that local people are checking their post – particularly those living in multiple occupancy – as it could be missed.

Councillor Fodor said: “The current survey addressed to ‘The Occupier’ will have arrived early August and could be missed by many people it needs to reach.

“It’s a vital preparation for the electoral registration process, and responding to this letter is vital for our democracy.

“We know many people have strong feelings about government, public services, and other issues. Voting helps make sure that gets reflected in councils and parliaments.”

Next year will see Bristol residents go to the polls in what is expected to be one of the busiest elections the city has seen in years.

Residents will be asked to decide who they want as an elected Mayor, Police and Crime Commissioner and their local councillors.

This year was the first time that the UK had seen the introduction of a new registration system called Individual Electoral Registration (IER), which puts the emphasis on the individual’s responsibility to register themselves as opposed to one person registering a household.

Since the introduction of this new system, Bristol’s electorate has grown by 10,000 electors, over 90% being registered online.
Nicola Yates, Electoral Registration Officer for Bristol City Council, says that it has “never been easier” to confirm your details on the register.

She added: “Aside from being able to vote, the register is also critically important to a number of everyday situations that can have an impact on people’s lives.

“It is used for credit checks, making it tougher to get credit if you’re not on the register. That can affect your chances of getting a mortgage, a loan or even a phone contract.
“I cannot stress enough how important it is that people do not ignore these letters and respond in good time.”

Residents who have any questions can contact the elections team at electoral.services@bristol.gov.uk or on 0117 922 3400. Alternatively visit www.bristol.gov.uk/annualcanvass for more information.