London,
27
January
2014
|
10:40
Europe/London

Last chance to register to vote

Time is running out for residents of the 14,700 Hackney households who are yet to return their voter registration forms.

Forms must be returned by 17 February, or residents will not be able to vote in European, Local and Hackney Mayoral elections on 22 May.

As well as taking part in forthcoming elections, returning the forms could also help people to get credit or utilities from companies who use the electoral register to check address details and eligibility.

So far 86per cent of Hackney households have returned their forms, which were sent to every homin the borough in October, in order to compile the register.

Staff have also visited people's homes to remind them to complete their forms which need to be updated with details of everyone at the address who are eligible to vote and returned as soon as possible. If these details haven’t changed replies can be sent by text, phone or email.

Tim Shields, Chief Executive of Hackney Council and Electoral Registration Officer
Many people simply may not realise that they have to register to vote each year and that if they do not send the form back, they can't vote.

If people still have their forms lying around I'd encourage them to reply to us as soon as possible, it's easy to confirm online or by text, it helps with your credit rating and it ensures that you get a voice at the ballot box this May.
Tim Shields, Chief Executive of Hackney Council and Electoral Registration Officer

Last year more than 93per cent of households returned their forms before the February deadline, ensuring they appeared on the register and also avoiding potential fines of up to £1,000.

To be eligible to vote in May and in future elections, your name must appear in the register of electors. You can appear on the register from age 16 or over, but you must be 18 or over to be allowed to vote on polling day.

Those concerned about privacy can still register and simply opt out of appearing on the edited register, which can be accessed by anybody and is commonly used by companies for direct marketing.