Almost 77,900 people in the Wyre Forest district are on the newly published Register of Electors. A total of 77,866 electors are listed which represents a decrease of 2,591 (3.22%) since the Register was last compiled in February 2014.
In common with many other areas, the number of people on the electoral register has fallen as a consequence of the new method for registering to vote which came into effect in June this year. The new more secure system of ‘Individual Electoral Registration’ (IER) replaced the old Victorian system where the “head of household” registered everyone living in a property. Now, each individual is responsible for registering themselves.
The vast majority of Wyre Forest district residents automatically moved onto the new electoral register. However, some needed to take action to join or remain on it. Wyre Forest District Council sent a letter explaining the new process to all households.
Electoral Registration Officer, Ian Miller, said:
“We are pleased with how the move to IER has gone and the team is working hard to get as many people who are eligible to vote to register. It seems probable that the reduction in the number of registered electors is the result of people not realising that it is now their individual responsibility to register, despite the reminders that they have been sent. I would particularly ask students to check that they are registered: they can’t rely on their parents or college to do it for them, as may have been the case in the past.
“Next May we will have a general election, elections for 33 district councillors and in a number of parishes, including elections for Stourport-on-Severn town council. There will also be a poll in Kidderminster on whether it should have a town council. This means it is really important to be on the register. It doesn’t just entitle residents to vote though: it also helps them to obtain credit. This is because Credit Reference Agencies use information from the register of electors to update their records.
“The Register has now been published but we are still encouraging people to make sure they are registered and to do so as soon as possible before the deadline of 20 April, which will be the last date for registering to vote in next May’s elections. With the new system of IER it is easier than ever because you can register online. ”
Any person living in Wyre Forest who is aged 18 or has moved into the area and is not currently included in the published Register of Electors can register by visiting www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. They can also call 01562 732928 or visit the Hub at Kidderminster Town Hall.
The full Register of Electors is available to view at libraries in Bewdley and Stourport-on-Severn and at the Worcestershire Hub at Kidderminster Town Hall.
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