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The way you register to vote is changing

RESIDENTS in Stockton Borough will soon receive a letter through the post telling them about the biggest change to the voter registration system in nearly 100 years.

The new more secure Individual Electoral Registration (IER) system was recently introduced by the Government to replace the old system where the ‘head of household’ registered everyone living in a property.  IER makes every individual responsible for registering themselves and offers the opportunity to register online for the first time.

Most residents will automatically transfer onto the new electoral register. However, some will need to take action to complete their registration.

In a press release from Stockton Council, Councillor David Harrington, Cabinet Member for Corporate Management and Finance, said: “It is important that you are registered in the right name and at the right address otherwise you could miss your chance to have your say in vital elections.

“If you are not registered, you can’t vote. Many people don’t realise that failure to register also means you may be refused a bank account, loan, credit card or mortgage as being on the electoral roll acts as proof of address for many companies.  Look out for the letter as it will tell you if you have been automatically transferred, or if not, what information is needed to complete your registration. Now that you can also submit your information online, it’s much quicker and more convenient to make sure you are registered.”

Personally I can’t help thinking it is a cynical way to disenfranchise Labour voters who often have too much on their plates to find time for paperwork like this. I will certainly do what I can to get the word out there about how much this matters.

For more information about Individual Electoral Registration, visit www.gov.uk/yourvotematters   

If you do not receive a letter please contact (01642) 526196 or email electoral@stockton.gov.uk

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