Aylesbury Vale voters to be registered early for police commissioner poll
Archived press release
Date Published: 19/06/12
Forms asking Aylesbury Vale residents to register to vote will be sent earlier this year because of the police and crime commissioner elections.
Each year, by law, Aylesbury Vale District Council has to prepare a new and accurate register of electors. The council normally collects the information it needs to publish a revised register throughout August and November by sending each household in the district an electoral registration form to complete and return. This is what’s known as the annual canvass.
The new register of electors is then normally published on 1 December and then stays in force for the following 12 months.
This year, there will be elections for a new police and crime commissioner for the Thames Valley police area, which will take place on 15 November. The commissioner’s role includes appointing the chief constable and deciding local policing priorities and the annual force budget but he or she will not have day-to-day control over operational policing.
To make sure that the election can be carried out using an up to date register of electors and following a direction from government, this year’s annual canvass will start earlier.
All households in the district will receive an electoral registration form from 20 June which has to be responded to as soon as possible to ensure that eligible people are registered to vote.
Most households simply need to tell the council that the information about them printed on their electoral registration forms is still correct. They can do this by using the council’s e-registration options, rather than by returning the form, saving printing and postage of reminders.
On the electoral registration form residents can opt to have their details excluded from the edited register. This will mean their details could not be bought by individuals and commercial organisations.
Electors using the telephone or internet services can opt in or out. Residents using the form will need to decide whether to place a tick in the appropriate column to opt out, or to leave the column blank.
By law households must respond to the voter registration form – even if people living there have no intention of voting. Not registering every year could result in a fine of up to £1,000.
People not on the electoral register may also find it difficult to do other things, such as getting a loan or mortgage or mobile phone contract, as registration is one of the criteria used by credit checking agencies. Other pitfalls include not being eligible to apply for certain jobs which require security checks and not being able to open a bank account.
Any households that don’t reply have to be sent a reminder and then a personal visit from a canvasser. These costs fall on the council and so by replying at the first time of asking residents save money for the authority – and for council tax payers across the district.
Chris Sheard, Electoral Services Manager, said: “Normally around 70 per cent of households have no change, and this can be confirmed by a phone call or text message or by using the website. By using these methods, we can cut the costs of keeping the electoral register up to date.
“Registering to vote is very quick and simple – it only takes a minute. However, if any of the details have changed, you will still need to send the form back in the post. All you have to do is update the form with the details of everyone in your household who is eligible to vote and return it us as soon as possible.”
For more information about registering to vote, visit www.aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk/elections or call 01296 585807.
For more details about the police commissioner elections visit www.homeoffice.gov.uk/police