Don’t ignore voter registration emails from the Council

Release Date: 13 July 2020

Residents in Richmond upon Thames are urged to look out for their annual voter registration email from the Council and do not delete the message as spam!

Over the past few weeks, residents will have been receiving emails with their registration information – inviting them to make sure that their information is up to date. With elections taking place in London Borough of Richmond upon Thames in May 2021, it is important that residents do not ignore these communications.

The annual canvass ensures that the Richmond 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. They would then be able take part in any future elections.

Mark Maidment, Electoral Registration Officer at the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames said:

“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.”  

"It’s important that residents do not delete these messages from the Council so we can make sure we have the right details on the electoral register for every address in the borough.

“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."

When you are contacted, if you need to make a change to your registration information, please respond as soon as possible. It will make sure the process runs smoothly. It also means there will be no need for additional contact, which is particularly important now.

People who have moved recently are particularly encouraged to look out for the voter registration messages from the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames 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.

Any residents who have any questions can contact their local registration team at the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames by e-mail to electoral.services@richmond.gov.uk

For more information contact the Electoral Commission press office on 020 7271 0704, out of office hours 07789 920 414 or press@electoralcommission.org.uk

Notes to editors

  1. Elections are taking place in Richmond upon Thames in May 2021.
  2. The Representation of the People Act 1983 places a duty on Electoral Registration Officers to maintain the electoral register for their area and to conduct an annual canvass of all residential properties.
  3. The electoral register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in public elections. The register is used for electoral purposes, such as making sure only eligible people can vote. It is also used for other limited purposes specified in law, such as detecting crime (e.g. fraud), calling people for jury service or checking credit applications.
  4. The open register is an extract of the electoral register but is not used for elections. It can be bought by any person, company or organisation. For example, it is used by businesses and charities to confirm name and address details. Your name and address will be included in the open register unless you ask for them to be removed. Removing your details from the open register does not affect your right to vote.
  5. To be eligible to register to vote a person must be:
  • Aged 16 or over (a person may register to vote at 16, but may not vote until they are 18)
  • A British or qualifying Commonwealth citizen who has leave to enter and remain in the UK or does not require such leave.
  • A citizen of the Republic of Ireland or other European Union (EU) member state.
  1. British citizens, Irish citizens and qualifying citizens of Commonwealth countries (including Cyprus and Malta) can vote in local government elections and Police and Crime Commissioner elections. To date, the UK Government has not made changes to the eligibility of EU citizens, meaning at present they too can vote in these elections.

Full details of the Electoral Commission’s research on the electoral registers can be found on its website.

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159.

Reference: P283/20

Updated: 30 July 2020