Under the national Individual Electoral Registration guidelines, the shared elections team at Cherwell District and South Northamptonshire Councils is required to undertake an annual review of elector details.
Those who failed to confirm or update their details during the annual canvass earlier this year have now been sent final reminder letters asking them to confirm their details within 14 days or they will be removed from the electoral register.
Sue Smith, Electoral Registration Officer for Cherwell, said: “When the Individual Electoral Registration law was introduced in 2014, it required local authorities to carry out an annual review of every eligible elector. In the summer, as per the guidelines, we sent letters to people asking them to confirm their details and follow up letters were sent in the autumn ahead of canvassers knocking on doors for those who were still outstanding.
“All those who did not return their details to us by 25 November have now been sent what is effectively a final reminder letter. To remain on the register, all they need to do is contact us in writing either by letter or email to confirm their details. If they fail to do so, they will be removed as per national legislation.”
As with all local authorities, data held on the electoral register is entirely separate to any other information held by the council, including council tax details. Therefore, those who are registered to pay council tax do not have their information automatically updated on the electoral register.
This is because not everyone in the household will be listed on a council tax bill and not everyone who is eligible to vote will necessarily pay council tax.
Residents who receive a reminder will need to confirm their details in writing either by email or letter. They will then receive an automated reply confirming their information has been received.
Appeals can be held if the council has discrepancies over individual details but these will be a final resort.
Even though it is not a legal requirement to vote in elections, it is a legal requirement for residents to submit up-to-date information as the register is also used to perform credit checks and jury service selection. Failure to do so is punishable by a fine.
To confirm details, residents should send their full name, address and postcode to the council with a message stating they would like to confirm their details on the electoral register. This can be done by emailing: [email protected]
Alternatively people can post their information to: Electoral Registration, PO Box 720, Bodicote, Banbury, OX16 6LR. For those in need of further clarity, call 01295 227005.