Scarborough and Whitby residents urged 'don't lose your voice' ahead of local elections

Scarborough and Whitby area residents have been reminded to check they are eligible to vote with local elections scheduled to take place next year.

By Carl Gavaghan, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Thursday, 2nd July 2020, 9:42 am
Updated Thursday, 2nd July 2020, 9:46 am
You can vote in the county elections - if you are on the electoral roll
You can vote in the county elections - if you are on the electoral roll

Elections for the North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner and North Yorkshire County Council will be held in May 2021 - and Scarborough Council is beginning the process to check who is registered.

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.

Kerry Russett, Scarborough Council elections manager, said: “It’s important that residents keep an eye out for messages from us so we can make sure we have the right details on the electoral register for every address in our borough.

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“To make sure you are able to have your say at elections taking place next year, simply follow the instructions in the information we send you.

“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 here, 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 ensure that we take account of public health guidelines, including the continued importance of social distancing.”

Residents that receive a paper canvass form should read it thoroughly as the council may not need a response from them.

The form will tell the recipient whether a response is required.

People who have moved recently are encouraged to look out for the voter registration messages from the 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 16 years will be registered, compared to 36% of people who have lived at an address for less than one year.

Melanie Davidson, head of Support and Improvement at the Electoral Commission, added: “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, electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/voter.”

Residents who have any questions can email Scarborough Borough Council’s elections team at [email protected] or call 01723 232323.