People are being reminded to check their electoral registration details are up to date ahead of this year’s elections on May 5.
As part of the National Voter Registration Drive, which runs from February 1-7, Cherwell District Council is urging all eligible voters to ensure they have updated the electoral register with any changes including moving house or getting married.
In addition to electing a Police and Crime Commissioner, changes to Cherwell District Council’s ward boundaries means the current structure of 50 councillors and 28 wards will be disbanded and replaced with the election of 48 councillors who will be shared equally over 16 new wards.
Sue Smith, returning officer for Cherwell, said: “This is a big year for local elections in Cherwell as the entire structure of the council is set to change. Not only will every seat be up for election but there will be changes to the number of councillors and the ward boundaries.
“Furthermore, this year we will be holding the second-ever elections for the Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley Police as well as some parish and town elections.”
It is a legal requirement to provide up to date details for the electoral register, even for those who do not wish to vote and failure to do so is punishable by a £1,000 fine.
As well as giving people the right to vote, the register is also used for jury service selection and to perform credit checks when applying for things such as a mortgage, credit card, mobile phone or loan. Incorrect or out-of-date information could result in a poor credit rating and a contract refusal
Mrs Smith added: “All eligible voters will be able to take part in the district council and Police and Crime Commissioner elections. Depending on where they live, they may also be able to participate in parish or town council elections as a third of the parishes are due for election. Anyone who wants to vote in any of these elections must ensure their details are up to date on the electoral register before 18 April – otherwise they could find themselves without a vote on polling day.”
To register to vote visit www.gov.uk/register-to-vote or call Cherwell District Council’s elections’ team on 01295 227005.