The annual check to ensure all eligible voters across Ayrshire are correctly registered to vote is now well underway.
During August, around 170,000 voter registration letters containing a 'Household Enquiry Form' went out to every household in Ayrshire.
Ayrshire Valuation Joint Board – which is responsible for electoral registration across Ayrshire – is reminding householders that they must respond to the forms received or they could lose the right to vote. In extreme cases, failure to respond could even result in a hefty fine.
The form lists the names of all voters currently registered at that same address. Householders need to check the details and either confirm these are correct or update with the relevant changes. The quickest and easiest way to do this is to complete it online, using the unique security codes included in each letter*.
Alternatively, the form can be completed and posted back. Any new voters must also complete the individual voter registration form online – adding a person to the Household Enquiry Form does not automatically register them to vote.
If the household details are correct, this can also be confirmed by phone.
Around 90,000 reminder letters are set to go out over the next couple of weeks and residents are being encouraged to complete them right away.
Ayrshire Electoral Registration Officer Helen McPhee said:
"By law, people are required to respond to these forms – even if the details are correct. But we know it's easy to think you'll do it later, and then forget all about it. That's why we're reminding people what they need to do and I would encourage people to take the necessary action sooner rather than later.
"I would also remind new voters that, as well as adding their details to the form, they need to formally register to vote, which they have to do on an individual basis.
"Failure to do this will mean they will not be registered to vote. If they don't resolve this, they could miss out on the chance to vote at a future election or referendum.
"The key thing is to respond to the letters – even if it's just to confirm the information is accurate.
"That's the only way you can be sure you have the right to vote and can have your say on the things that matter to you."
If you have already responded to the Household Enquiry Form but receive a reminder, no further action is required. Once you have responded to the form, you can register to vote, update details, change voting preferences (e.g. to vote in person or by post) or change whether you're on the open register at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. If you need information or advice on how to complete the Household Enquiry Form, contact Ayrshire Valuation Joint Board on 01292 612221 or email email@example.com.