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Make sure you don’t lose the right to vote

Published Monday, 14 October 2013

Wellingborough Council is advising residents to look out for the yellow electoral registration forms that will be dropping through letterboxes from the beginning of November. Filling in and returning the form will ensure people can have their say in next year’s elections.

Paula Lawton, elections manager at Wellingborough Council, said: "Completing the yellow form now means that the electoral register is as up to date as possible ahead of next year's elections. Put simply, if you're not on the register, you can't vote. Not being on the register can also affect your application for credit, and if someone remains on the register after they've moved out then they could get credit at your address. So it's very important that when the form comes through the letterbox, you check the details carefully. You then need to tell us whether or not anything has changed. Responding to the yellow form every year, even if the details on it remain exactly the same, is the only way to make sure you are on the register."

If there are no changes to be made on the form, the council is encouraging people to complete electoral registration online, by text, or by phone.   

Easy to follow instructions are printed on the back of the form, helping people understand what to do if pre-printed names are incorrect or previous owners are listed. A pre-paid envelope will be included with the form. Not responding to the form is an offence that carries a penalty of up to £1,000.

The new electoral register will be published on 17 February 2014. Elections to the European Parliament will take place on 22 May 2014.

If you don't receive your form, or would like more information about the electoral registration process, you can call the council's elections team on 01933 231 513. You may also find your query is answered in our list of frequently asked questions.


Notes to editors
There are two versions of the electoral register, full and edited.

Everyone's details appear on the full register, which is used for elections, preventing and detecting crime, and credit applications.

The edited register is available for general sale and can be used for any purpose, including direct marketing. Anyone can ask to be excluded from the edited register, and it's easy to do that on the registration form. Once excluded, people's details cannot be bought by individuals and commercial organisations.

To register to vote, a person must be:
     - aged 16 or over (people can register at 16, and vote at 18);
     - a British or qualifying Commonwealth citizen. This means Commonwealth citizens who have
       leave to enter or remain in the UK or do not require such leave;
     - a citizen of the Republic of Ireland or other European Union (EU) member states.

British citizens, Irish citizens, and qualifying citizens of Commonwealth countries (including Cyprus and Malta) can vote in all elections. EU member states can vote in local government elections but cannot vote in UK parliamentary elections.