From Cornwall Council:
Cornwall 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.
With elections to Cornwall Council, parish and town councils and for the local police and crime commissioner taking place in Cornwall in May 2021, this is an important opportunity for residents to make sure they can take part.
The annual household canvass ensures that Cornwall Council can keep the electoral register up to date, identifying any residents who are not registered so that they can be encouraged to do so, allowing them to be able take part in any future elections.
Kate Kennally, Electoral Registration Officer at Cornwall Council said: “Residents may notice some changes have been made to the communications they receive. It’s important that residents keep an eye out for our messages over the coming weeks, so we can make sure we have the right details on the electoral register for every address in Cornwall.
“Make sure you are able to have your say at the elections taking place next year by following the instructions we send you. For the first time ever, we will be contacting some households by email instead of sending a paper form in the post. If you get an email from us, please respond to it, even if it is to tell us you’ve moved.
“If you know you’re not currently registered, the easiest way to register to vote is online, or we’ll send you information explaining how to do this in the post.
“This year’s canvass, which we must carry out by law, is taking place during a challenging public health situation brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. We are working to ensure that we take account of public health guidelines, including the continued importance of social distancing. Our residents can play their part by responding quickly if their letter asks them to and by using the secure internet site mentioned on the form. This really does save the Council a lot of money that can be used instead for other essential services.”
People who have moved recently are particularly encouraged to look out for the voter registration messages and check the details carefully.
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 the UK, 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.
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”
Any residents who have any questions can contact their local registration team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 0300 123 1115.