Warrington householders need to register to vote to avoid the possibility of a substantial fine.
Warrington Borough Council sent out reminder letters to households who hadn’t responded to the annual canvas on August 25 but 30% still haven’t responded.
Any households who don’t respond to the survey by September 13 will be visited by council officers. This process can cost council tax payers tens of thousands of pounds.
Ultimately, anyone refusing to register can face a fine of up to £1,000 and a criminal record.
Each year the council sends out household enquiry forms to every address in the borough – about 93,000 homes. Householders are required by law to provide the information requested on the form and so far around seven in 10 households have responded, half of them via telephone, SMS or online.
Steven Broomhead, chief executive at Warrington Borough Council, said: “To vote in an election you must be registered. We need to ensure that the electoral register is up to date and to identify any residents who are not registered so that they can be encouraged to do so.
“Householders should check that the information held is accurate and up to date, and respond as promptly as possible. This can be done quickly and easily online, as well as by phone or post.
“It’s particularly important that anyone who has moved house recently looks out for the form and checks whether they are registered with the correct information.“If your name is not listed on the form but you think that you are eligible to vote, you must do two things: respond to the enquiry form and register yourself online at gov.uk/register-to-vote”
Householders are asked:
• the name and nationality of everyone aged 16 or over;
• whether there are any residents who are not eligible to vote, and why;
• whether their nationality has changed;
• if they are now over 76 years old;
• to cross out the name(s) of anyone listed on the form who is no longer living at the address; and
• to include contact information if they wish to.
Forms can be completed quickly and easily online using a security code provided. Residents who fail to respond will receive a personal visit from elections staff.
A revised electoral register will be published on 1 December. Credit reference agencies use the electoral register to validate applications. Not being registered can affect applications for credit cards, mobile phone contracts and mortgages
More information about the annual household enquiry is available on the council’s website at warrington.gov.uk/elections