Local 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.Canvass Test Screenshot EXAMPLE

With West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner, Worcestershire County Council and Kidderminster Town Council elections taking place in the district in May 2021, this is an important opportunity for residents to make sure they can take part.

The annual canvass makes sure that Wyre Forest District 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. This year, residents may receive messages about checking their details by email, text, phone call or letter. How residents are contacted will depend on the details they have provided to the electoral services team in the past.

Ian Miller, Electoral Registration Officer at Wyre Forest District Council said:

“It’s important that residents keep an eye out for messages from Wyre Forest District Council, so we can make sure we have the right details on the electoral register for every address in Wyre Forest. To make sure you are able to have your say at elections taking place next year, simply follow the instructions on your message.

“If you’re not currently registered, your name will not appear in the messages we send. If you want to register, the easiest way is online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote, or we’ll send you information explaining how to do this in the post.”

“This year’s canvass, which we have to carry out by law, is taking place during a challenging public health situation. We are working to make sure that we take account of public health guidelines, including the continued importance of social distancing.”

People who have moved recently are particularly encouraged to look out for the voter registration messages from Wyre Forest District Council and check the details. 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 Great Britain, 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.

The canvass also gives residents an opportunity to change the method they use to vote. With the current public health situation, if electors are concerned about voting in a polling station they can request to change this to a postal vote or appoint a proxy. Anyone can apply for a postal vote – you do not need to give a reason.

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 https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/voter.”

Any residents who have any questions can contact Wyre Forest District Council’s registration team at electoral@wyreforestdc.gov.uk or 01562 732733.