Register To Vote Day: Don’t lose your vote because you’ve moved house
Tens of thousands of recent home movers will be unable to vote in local elections taking place on May 3, say the Electoral Commission, because they will not have registered to vote at their new property before the April 18 deadline.
The research from the independent elections watchdog shows that only 14% of people who moved house in autumn 2010 after the annual canvass were registered to vote at their new property in April 2011. If that is repeated this year, it will mean many people missing out on voting in local elections taking place in much of England, across Scotland and Wales as well as in the Mayor of London elections. Among their findings are:
* Around one in three people wrongly believe that by paying council tax they are automatically registered to vote and are on the electoral register
* 56% of people living in private rented homes are registered, compared with 88% for homeowners (those that had lived in their property between two and five years).
* Younger people in London are much more likely not to be on the electoral register (56% of 19 – 24 year olds are registered to vote, compared to 94% of 65+).
Facebook is taking part in the Electoral Commission’s campaign (“It’s Your Vote, Don’t Lose It”), using their ‘Democracy UK’ page to encourage Facebook users to fill in a registration form and to pass the message on via wall posts and status updates.
“Today is Register to Vote Day across Britain,” says Samantha Mills of the Electoral Commission, pictured left with a large registration form, “when we’re launching a campaign asking everyone to take five minutes to check they will be able to have their say at next month’s elections. Now is the time to act – and to pass the message on to others!”
Go to www.aboutmyvote.co.uk to print off and complete a registration form.
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