East Devon’s Electoral Registration Officer praises his young electoral services team for doing a great job on new 2016 Electoral Register
East Devon District Council has just published its new electoral register for 2016. This is the first register to be published following completion of the transition to Individual Elector Registration (IER).
The new IER replaced the discredited householder registration system, which the previous Government had decided was no longer fit for purpose and, which was potentially open to significant fraud. It is now a legal requirement for everyone aged 16 years and over to register under the new system.
Commenting on the publication of the register, Mark Williams, the Electoral Registration Officer for East Devon said:
This new system has been a massive learning curve for my young team, two of whom started as apprentices with the council. We have focused all our efforts into making a success of the new IER regime and have used the extra Government funding that was made available,to ensure that IER is a success in East Devon. The end result has been that the number of voters in East Devon has reached its highest ever level.
Total electorate in East Devon now 108,214
A successful annual canvass finished on 1 December 2015, resulting in the publication of the 2016 Electoral Register for East Devon, with a total electorate now reaching 108,214.
The annual canvass started in July 2015 with 67,308 initial Household Enquiry Forms (HEFS) being sent out. The failure of some households to respond to this mailout led to 28,760 reminder HEFs being sent out in August 2015, followed by another 19,482 second reminders being sent in September 2015.
After these three stages were completed, canvassers made personal house-to-house visits to 5,116 properties. This involved the employment of over 35 canvassers, including several Parish Clerks who were employed for their local knowledge of rural and village addresses.
A variety of public engagement methods, were used, including social media and the distribution of over 1,000 posters and 1,500 leaflets, which were sent to local businesses, agencies and residents. Posters, lesson plans and guidance were also sent to schools and colleges to introduce students to the registration process. Copies of an easy-to-read guide (developed by Mencap),explaining how to vote/register to vote, were sent to relevant groups such as nursing homes and local disability groups.
Being registered allows people to not only vote in elections, but also has a positive effect on their credit rating.
Not on the electoral system yet? Get in touch with Electoral Services now
For anyone who isn’t yet on the Electoral Register, there is still plenty of opportunity to register. This can be done in two ways:
- online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
- telephone the Electoral Services Helpline on 01395 517402