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You are here: Home Page > Council and Democracy > Council News > Archived News > October 2010 > Your Right to Vote

Don't Forget Your Right to Vote

Bedford Borough residents are being urged to return important registration forms to make sure they are eligible to vote.

Each year, from the end of August, Electoral Services send Voter Registration Forms to every home within the borough asking residents to register all eligible voters and anyone who will become 18.  The Electoral Register is updated each year during this annual canvass period, September to November, and a new Register is published on the 1 December.

Residents are being asked to add anyone who should be registered and wasn't on the list and cross out anyone who no longer lives at the address. The form should then be signed and returned to the council. To help keep costs down, residents can also use the telephone or internet if there is no change to their details.

Under the law these forms must be returned each year, whether residents intend to vote or not. Failure to return the form could lead to a fine of up to £1000. 

Residents need to be included on the register if they are:

18 and over

British, Irish, European or qualifying Commonwealth citizen

16 / 17 years old (so that everyone is eligible to vote as soon as they turn 18)

living at an address within Bedford Borough on 15 October

Canvassers will be calling on all householders who haven't responded to the canvass by Friday 1st October

Keith Simmons, Head of Registration and Records, said:

“I’d like to thank everyone who has already sent back their voter registration forms. Completed forms are needed to register all eligible voters so that they can take place in local and national elections. Residents are required to complete these forms by law. Where they aren’t returned we will re-contact homes to find out why we haven’t received them.” 

Don't assume that because you were registered last year that your name will be automatically included in this year's Register of Electors. There are regulations regarding the removal of names from the Register in the event of a non-response to the annual canvass from a household.

Also, being on the Council Tax Register does not automatically mean that you are on the Register of Electors. The two registers contain different information.”

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In this section find out about the makeup of Bedford Borough Council and who your local Councillors are. You can also find out how to register for elections, submit FOI enquiries and more.

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