With elections taking place in the borough in May 2021 this is an important opportunity for residents to make sure they can take part. Local residents are being warned not to lose their voice on decisions that affect them by making sure their electoral registration details are up to date.
In order to keep the Maidstone Borough Council electoral register up to date, the annual canvass identifies any residents who are not registered so they can be added and are able to vote in any future elections.
People who have moved recently are particularly encouraged to look out for the voter registration messages and check the details. 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 will be registered, compared to 36% of people who have lived at an address for less than one year.
Ryan O’Connell, Democratic and Electoral Services Manager at Maidstone Borough Council said:
“As the forms will look different we are asking everyone to please read them carefully and follow the instructions. We are here to help if anyone needs assistance filling it in.
“We would encourage residents to complete the form online where possible, using the national online response service: www.householdresponse.com/maidstone the security codes can be found on the form.
“We have to carry out this canvass by law and if people do not respond we are required to follow up with reminders which will result in either a phone call, email or potentially a canvasser collecting the information on the doorstep. We would want to avoid door knocking especially due to the current situation so would ask householders to respond as soon as possible.
“If you are not yet registered to vote, the easiest way to do this is online at https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote, or we’ll send you information explaining how to do this in the post.”
Melanie Davidson, Head of Support and Improvement at the Electoral Commission, said:
“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 Maidstone Borough Council’s local registration team at 01622 602007 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit: https://www.maidstone.gov.uk/home/primary-services/council-and-democracy/primary-areas/voting-And-elections/tier-3-primary-areas/housing-enquiry-form or search ‘Annual Household Canvass’ on the Maidstone Borough Council website https://www.maidstone.gov.uk