Leeds City Council is warning local residents not to lose their voice on decisions that affect them by making sure their electoral registration details are up to date.
Households across the city will start to receive their annual canvass letter this week and are being urged to check the details are correct. The annual canvass ensures that the 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. Government changes this year mean that people only need to respond if the letter asks them to or if they want to change or add information. In the majority of cases, households will not need to respond if their details are correct and complete.
Letters are being sent to around 350,000 households in Leeds, with 78,000 of these definitely requiring a response which will be clearly stated. People who have moved to the city recently are particularly encouraged to look out for the letter and check the details are correct.
If residents need to make a change to their information, they can do this easily online at www.householdresponse.com. Residents will need to enter a two part security code which they will find on the communication they have been sent. Households without internet access can do this by calling 0113 222 4411.
If you are not currently registered to vote, your name will not appear on the letter. If you want to register, the easiest way to do so is online at www.gov.uk. Those without internet access can do so by calling 0113 222 4411.
With local elections and the Combined Authority mayoral elections taking place in Leeds in May 2021, this is an important opportunity for residents to make sure they can take part and have their say on the decisions that affect them.
Susanna Benton, Head of Electoral Services at Leeds City Council said:
“It’s important that residents keep an eye out for a letter from the council over the coming weeks so we can make sure we have the right details on the electoral register for every address in the city. This is an important process in making sure that as many people as possible have the right to vote on decisions that affect them.
“This year’s canvass, which we have to carry out by law, is taking place during a challenging public health situation. We are working hard to ensure that we take into account public health guidelines, including the continued importance of social distancing.
“Making sure you provide the necessary information to us when it is needed will ensure the process runs smoothly and will help avoid the need for home visits from canvassers.
“I would encourage any households which are required to respond to do so by 14 August 2020 to avoid a reminder being sent to them.”
For helpful information about registering to vote, visit www.electoralcommission.org.uk.
Any residents who have any questions can contact electoral services by calling 0113 222 4411 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- Local elections and the Combined Authority mayoral elections are taking place in Leeds in May 2021.
- The Representation of the People Act 1983 places a duty on Electoral Registration Officers to maintain the electoral register for their area and to conduct an annual canvass of all residential properties.
- 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 or checking credit applications.
- 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.
- To be eligible to register to vote a person must be:
- Aged 16 or over (a person may register to vote at 16, but may not vote until they are 18)
- 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.
- British citizens, Irish citizens and qualifying citizens of Commonwealth countries (including Cyprus and Malta) can vote in local government elections and Police and Crime Commissioner elections. To date, the UK Government has not made changes to the eligibility of EU citizens, meaning at present they too can vote in these elections.
- Full details of the Electoral Commission’s research on the electoral registers can be found on its website.