West Oxfordshire District Council is urging residents to make sure they are registered to vote at this year’s local elections
On Thursday 3 May 2012 a third (17) of the District Council’s seats are up for election along with 140 seats on 19 town and parish councils. Later in the year (15 November), and for the first time, the Council will be holding elections for a Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley Police Area.
Keith Butler, Electoral Registration Officer said, “Sometimes people do not realise that they need to re-register each year. The registration campaign runs every autumn. We send out forms to all households followed up by reminders to those that have not returned. But, despite every effort there are always some people that turn up at the polling stations only to be disappointed to discover they are not eligible to vote. I urge people to check with us if they think they are not registered.”
Registering to vote is easy: print off a form from www.westoxon.gov.uk/register and ensure it is returned to the District Council by no later than 18 April for elections taking place on the 3 May. To check you are eligible to vote telephone 01993 861410.
For those that can’t get to a polling station to vote requests can be made for a postal vote or proxy vote. A proxy vote is when a registered voter appoints someone else to vote on their behalf.
Registering to vote is a statutory duty and people not on the Electoral Register may also find it difficult to do other things, such as getting a loan or mortgage or mobile phone contract, as registration is one of the criteria used by credit checking agencies. Other pitfalls include not being eligible to apply for certain jobs which require security checks and not being able to open a bank account.
For more details about the forthcoming elections, visit www.westoxon.gov.uk/