Voter registration has undergone a major change over the last couple of years, with a move from the head of the household registration system that dates back to Victorian times, to the new Individual Voter Registration system where individual citizens register themselves to vote. While the new system is not difficult to negotiate in principle it has caused some confusion. The online system of registration has the unfortunate side effect of removing the registration from any persons registering who are already registered. So before registering to vote online it is worth giving your local electoral registration officer a call ( look up under your local council- see below for Stirling) and check if you are registered.
So why is December the 1st such a critical date?
The Westminster government is currently implementing a review of electoral boundaries ( ie constituencies are being juggled around) and there will as a result be fewer seats in the House of Commons in future UK General Elections. The changing of boundaries means the registration officers are reviewing their registered voter lists. Where there are discrepancies encountered between National Insurance, DWP and HMRC records and the Electoral registration office, voters will be dropped from the register and asked to re-register ( provided they can be contacted in the first place to notify them of the issue). The drop date was originally December 2016 but has been brought forward to 1st December 2015.
It is believed as many as 13% of the Glasgow Electorate will be dropped from the electoral roll on the 1st of December! The Scottish elections are due in May 2016 and we want to make sure that everyone with the entitlement to vote takes it up and makes their voice heard. The people most impacted by these changes are those in short term rented accommodation and students who live for relatively short periods away from their usual home address. However many other groups are also impacted, especially poorer households and those where English is not perhaps a first language. While there is time to register to vote, its better not to be dropped from the register in the first place, and if you have changed address you might not be notified successfully.
If you know anyone who is moving accommodation regularly. in rented accomodation or indeed if you yourself are moving a lot, or are in the “at risk” groups please call the electoral registration officer for your area and check on the entitlement to vote and how the changes on 1st December will affect you.
Don’t lose your vote, USE your vote!
Register to vote here ( If you have any doubts that you might already be registered check first! See below for the Stirling ERO number)
Stirling Electoral Registration Officer : 01786 892289
Read more about this issue.