LETTERS reminding people to register to vote will soon be hitting doormats.
As part of its annual elector registration canvass, Stratford District Council posted forms to every household across the district in August.
The aim of the Household Enquiry Form (HEF) was to ensure the electoral register was up-to-date and to identify anyone not currently registered to vote.
But despite sending out more than 55,000 forms, around 24,000 are yet to be returned.
The council is now issuing reminder letters at an extra cost of £7,500 to taxpayers, and if the form is still not returned, an inspector will be sent to the property – resulting in further costs.
Completing the annual register is a legal requirement and not giving the information could not only affect residents’ credit
rating but it could also lead to them being fined up to £1,000.
And residents who fail to return a completed form may not have their details included on the electoral register, which means they will be unable to vote in upcoming elections or neighbourhood planning referendums.
The council is urging residents to check the information on the form matches up with those currently living at their address.
David Dalby, Electoral Registration Officer at Stratford District Council said: “It is vital every domestic property in the district returns a completed household enquiry form as soon as possible.
“The council has to carry out an annual canvass each year and it is a legal requirement for residents to provide the information.
“County Council elections take place in May next year and it’s possible a General Election could be announced at any time.
“Voting is an opportunity to have your say on important issues affecting your everyday life and although we’ve had a good response so far, I’m urging all households who haven’t yet replied to do so as soon as possible.”
If no changes are needed, residents can call 0800 197 9871, visit www.registerbyinternet.com/stratforddc or text NOCHANGE and a unique security code – contained in the form – to 80212.
Should changes be necessary – for example if someone has recently moved – residents can confirm these using their security code online or by writing them on the form itself.
If residents are unable to respond using their phone or online, they can return the form in a pre-paid envelope to the council’s offices on Church Street.
Anyone with questions should call the council’s elections team on 01789 260208.