Make sure you are on the electoral register - annual canvass 2020

Published

Local residents are being warned not to lose their voice on decisions that affect them by making sure their details are up to date on the electoral register.

With elections taking place in Windsor and Maidenhead in May 2021, this is an important opportunity for residents to make sure they can take part.

Each year the electoral registration officer is required by law, to undertake an annual canvass of all households in the borough to check that the information on the electoral register is as accurate and up to date as possible, and to identify any residents who are not registered so that they can be encouraged to do so.

We will be sending emails and letters to residents between now and November to find out who should be registered to vote at each address and to check that the information we have is current. This information will be used to compile the revised electoral register for 2021 and will be published on 1 December 2020 ready for elections in May 2021.

David Scott, electoral registration officer at the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead says: “It’s important that residents keep an eye out for messages from the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead so we can make sure we have the right details on the electoral register for every address in the area. To make sure you’re able to have your say at elections taking place next year, simply follow the instructions on the emails or letters you get from us.

“If you’re not currently registered, your name won’t appear on the letters or emails we send. If you want to register, the easiest and quickest way to do so is online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.

“This year’s canvass is taking place during a challenging public health situation. We are working to ensure that we take account of public health guidelines, including the continued importance of social distancing. This means that we are doing things a little differently as we will rely more on email, postal and telephone communications and less on home visits from canvassers.”

People who have recently moved home are particularly encouraged to look out for the voter registration messages sent by us either via email (from a gov.uk notify email address) or in the post, and to respond by return. Research by the Electoral Commission indicates that recent home movers are far less likely to be registered than those who have lived at the same address for a long time. Across Great Britain, 92% of people who have been at their property for more than sixteen years are registered, compared to 36% of people who have lived at an address for less than one year.

Melanie Davidson, head of support and improvement at the Electoral Commission, says: “It’s really important that everyone who is entitled to vote is able to do so. Making sure you provide the necessary information to your local authority when it is needed will ensure the process runs smoothly. This is particularly helpful in the current public health situation, as it will help avoid the need for home visits from canvassers.

“There’s lots of helpful information about registering to vote on our website https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/voter.”

Any residents who have any questions can contact their local registration helpline via 01628 683868 or electoral.registration@rbwm.gov.uk.