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Template press release for Scotland

Template press release for Scotland – Annual canvass 2018

Don’t lose your voice - residents in <local authority area> urged to look out for their voter registration details in the post

Local residents are being warned not to lose their voice on matters that affect them by completing and returning their annual canvass form to their local Electoral Registration Office as soon as possible.

The form ensures that <Name of the local authority> can keep the electoral register up to date and identify any residents who are not registered so that they can be encouraged to do so. This will mean that residents will be able take part in any future elections.

<Name>, Electoral Registration Officer at <name of local authority> said:
“It’s important that residents respond as soon as possible, so we can make sure we have the right details on the electoral register for every address in <local authority area>. To make sure you are able to have your say at elections <taking place next year>, simply check the form when it arrives and respond as soon as you can.

“If you’re not currently registered, your name will not appear on the form. If you want to register, the easiest way is online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote, or we’ll send you information in the post explaining how to do this. In any case, you will still need to complete the form and send it back to us.”

People who have moved address recently are particularly encouraged to keep an eye out for the form and check the details. Research by the independent Electoral Commission indicates that recent home movers are far less likely to be registered than those that have lived at the same address for a long time. Across Great Britain, 94% of people who have been at their property for more than sixteen years will be registered, compared to 40% of people who have lived at an address for less than one year.

Andy O’Neill, Head of the Electoral Commission, Scotland said:
“It’s really important that everyone who is entitled to vote is able to do so; checking the form that will arrive through the post is one of the easiest ways to find out if you are already registered. There’s lots of helpful information about registering to vote on our website www.yourvotematters.co.uk.”

Any residents who have any questions can contact their local registration team at <contact details for local electoral registration office>

Ends

Notes to editors
1. <<xxxx elections> are taking place in <local authority area> in May 2019.> 2. 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 (e.g. fraud) * calling people for jury service * checking credit applications.
3. 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. For example, 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.
4. To be eligible to register to vote in Scotland a person must be:
- Aged 14 or over (a person may register to vote at 14, but may not vote until they are 16 in Scottish Parliament and Local Government elections. A person must be 18 to vote at UK Parliamentary General elections and European Parliament elections.)
- A British or qualifying Commonwealth citizen who has leave to enter and remain in the UK or does not require such leave.
- A citizen of the Republic of Ireland or other European Union (EU) member state.
- 16 and 17 year olds can only vote in local elections and elections to the Scottish Parliament.
5. Full details of the Electoral Commission’s research on the electoral registers.