The way we register to vote has undergone its biggest change in 100 years.
The new system is called ‘Individual Electoral Registration’. Previously, the ‘head of household’ was responsible for registering everyone who lived at an address, but now every individual is responsible for their own voter registration. The new system means that for the first time people are able to register online. To register, you will need to provide a few more details, including your National Insurance number and date of birth. This helps make the electoral register more secure.
West Lancashire Borough Council has sent letters to all electors in West Lancashire and to properties where no electors are currently registered.
If you received a letter telling you that you have automatically been registered you don’t need to do anything unless:
If you received a letter asking for further information in order to be registered please follow the instructions immediately to update your details.
It is a requirement that information is provided and failure to comply could result in an £80 fine.
There are some people in West Lancashire who are not registered to vote at all and so need to join the register to have their say in elections. If you weren’t registered previously, you can register under the new system at Gov.UK (external link). This is a simple and quick process, a couple of minutes and you can be on the register!
Registration officers keep two registers, the electoral register and the open register (also known as the edited register).
The electoral register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in public elections. The register is used for electoral purposes, such as making sure only eligible people can vote. It is also used for other limited purposes specified in law, such as detecting crime (eg fraud), calling people for jury service and checking credit applications.
The open register is an extract of the electoral register, but is not used for elections. It can be bought by any person, company or organisation. It is used by businesses and charities to confirm name and address details. Your name and address will be included in the open register unless you ask for them to be removed. Removing your details from the open register does not affect your right to vote.
You can find out more information about both registers and how they are used at yourvotematters (external link).