Posted: Fri 29th Jan 2016

Don’t miss out on your chance to vote /
This article is old - Published: Friday, Jan 29th, 2016

Bridgend County Borough Council is marking this year’s National Voter Registration Day (Thursday 4 February) by reminding local residents not to lose their right to vote at upcoming elections. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

On Thursday 5 May, elections will be held for both the National Assembly for Wales and the Police & Crime Commissioner. But in order to cast their votes, eligible voters will need to join the Individual Electoral Register (IER) before the cut-off date of Monday 18 April. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The introduction of the new IER system last year means that all eligible voters living at an address are now responsible for registering themselves – and for the first time ever, they can do it online, by visiting ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The process is quick and involves filling out a form with details such as your name, address, previous address, nationality, date of birth and national insurance number. Once a voter’s details have been verified with the Department of Work & Pensions, they will receive a letter from the council confirming that they have been registered. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Anyone who registered to vote last year, but has since moved house, will need to update their address details in order to be eligible to vote this year. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

For those without internet access, applications can be completed over the phone – call Bridgend County Borough Council on 01656 643293 and ask a member of staff for help. Alternatively, paper versions can be sent out by emailing ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Councillor Mel Nott OBE, Leader of Bridgend County Borough Council, said: “If you are not on the electoral register, you will not be able to make your voice heard. It is of paramount importance that everyone in the county borough who is eligible – particularly young people and first-time voters – ensures that they are registered to vote. It’s easy to do, and by signing up you will avoid an £80 fine from your local Electoral Registration Office. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“As well as enabling you to vote, making sure you are on the electoral register could help you avoid disappointment in other areas too. Many companies use the electoral register to check customer details, so people who are not registered often find it difficult to apply for credit or obtain things like mortgages, mobile phone contracts, passports, loans and more.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Voting takes place at polling stations, by post or by proxy, and in the run-up to an election residents will be sent a poll card telling them when and where they can vote. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

For more information about Individual Electoral Registration and voting in the UK, visit ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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