Voting – top myths busted
Every household in West Oxfordshire will have received a household enquiry form from the Council’s electoral registration office.
Each year householders are asked who in their household is eligible to vote. The annual canvass ensures the correct details are on the electoral register before it's published on 1 December.
If the Council is told of someone in the household who is not registered to vote, they will then send them another form as that person will need to register individually.
To ensure you are registered to vote you must to respond to the household enquiry form using the two part security code you have been given on the form.
Keith Butler, Head of Democratic Services says: “We’ve had a great response to our canvass so far but we’ve just had to send out a further 18,000 reminder letters to residents who have not yet responded. Please help us reduce costs by replying as soon as possible - the cheapest and easiest way to do this is online or via text or phone.”
Each year the Council receives a number of enquiries that are ‘voting myths’ and we want to help dispel these.”
Myth One: I pay council tax, so I’m registered to vote
False: The council tax register and the electoral register are two separate registers and are completely different. The council tax register shows the name of the bill payer but not necessarily the people who live at the property. For this and many other legal reasons, the electoral registration officer is not permitted to take names from the council tax register and insert them on the electoral register.
Myth Two: My credit score won’t be affected if I’m not on the register
False: You may be told by a bank or credit reference agency that you have been denied credit because your name does not appear on the electoral register. This is because the electoral register is often used for credit referencing purposes to counteract fraud. Occasionally the records maintained by credit reference agencies need updating - they should be able to supply you with a copy of your record so that you can check the details.
Myth Three: If I register to vote, my personal details will be sold to other organisations
False: There are two versions of the register - the electoral register and the open register. The electoral register is used only for electoral purposes, calling people for jury service, preventing and detecting crime and checking applications for credit. The open register is available for general sale and can be used for commercial activities such as direct marketing. Your name and address will appear on the electoral register but you have the choice to opt-out of the open register.
Myth Four: I’m a student and I registered at home so I don’t need to register againFalse: Each voter is now responsible for their own registration – it's no longer the head of the household's job, so don't fall into the trap of thinking your mum, dad or more-organised housemate can do it for you. If you are 16 or 17 years old and will be 18 within the life of the electoral register you should register. If an election is called and you are not 18 at that time, then you will not qualify to vote. However, if an election is called and you are 18, then you will be entitled to vote.
If you are not registered to vote, visit www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
Communications: t: 01993 861615 / 861616 or e: firstname.lastname@example.org