Don’t forget to register in time for the elections

RESIDENTS who are yet to return their voter registration forms can expect a knock on the door over the next few weeks, as canvassers will be visiting every non-responding household.

All residents are required by law to register. If not, they could lose their right to vote and face a fine of up to £1,000. The deadline for returning the forms to the council is Friday, February 7 in time for the register to be published on February 17.

People are also being reminded that even if they have registered on the Electoral Register as recently as August or September 2013 using the individual rolling system, they will still need to complete and return the new household form if one is sent to their property.

Woking Borough Council’s Chief Executive and Electoral Registration Officer, Ray Morgan (below), said: “I would urge all residents to complete and return their voter registration form as soon as possible as it’s important to use their right to vote.

“It provides local people with an opportunity to influence what happens in the borough and to shape the future for generations to come.”

There will be elections to both Woking Borough Council and the European Parliament on Thursday, May 22.

In the past, regular elections for 12 of the 36 ward seats have been held in rotation every three out of four years, with no borough election in the fourth and each councillor serving a four-year term.

However, the Government Electoral Commission are reviewing the local authority’s process and, in 2016, all seats at the Civic Offices will be up for grabs.

It would appear from the consultation proposal to the commission that, for cost-cutting purposes and due to advances such as social media, it is recommended that the council be reduced from 36 to 30 members with all seats becoming vacant every four years. To accommodate a reduction, ward boundaries would need to be changed.

If residents do not want their details to be sold on for commercial purposes, they must ensure they opt out by ticking the ‘Edited Register’ box on the registration form.

The details will still appear in the full register, which is used for elections and other specified purposes such as credit reference checks. Contact Electoral Services on 01483 755855, email elections@woking.gov.uk or visit www.woking.gov.uk for more details.

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