Registering to vote – top five myths
Release date: 14 September 2016
Every household in Cotswold District will have received an enquiry form from the electoral registration office. Each year householders are asked to confirm the people who are eligible to vote at their address. If they add additional names, the Council’s elections team will send separate forms to the newly named persons as a means of verifying their identity.
To ensure you are registered to vote you will need to respond to the household enquiry form using any of the methods listed below:
- Online by visiting the eligible voters confirm and update page
- Freephone – 0800 197 9871 (only if there are no changes to the form)
- SMS TEXT – 80212 (only if there are no changes to the form)
Sarah Dalby, elections and registration manager at CDC, says: “We’ve had a great response so far but each year we receive a number of enquiries that stem from ‘voting myths’ and we are keen to help dispel them by highlighting the top five".
Myth 1: I pay council tax, so I’m registered
Reality: False - The council tax register and the electoral register are two separate registers and are completely different. The council tax register shows the name of the bill payer but not necessarily the people who live at the property. For this and many other legal reasons, the electoral registration officer is not permitted to take names from the council tax register and insert them on the electoral register.
Myth 2: If I register to vote, my personal details will be sold to other organisations
Reality: False - There are two versions of the register - the electoral register and the open register. The electoral register is used only for elections, preventing and detecting crime and checking applications for credit. The open register is available for general sale and can be used for commercial activities such as direct marketing. Your name and address will appear on the electoral register but you have the choice to opt out of the open register.
Myth 3: I don’t need to ask my 16 or 17 year old son or daughter to register as they are not entitled to vote until they are 18 years old
Reality: False – If your son or daughter is 16 or 17 years old and will be 18 within the life of the electoral register they should register. If an election is called and the person is not 18 at that time, then they will not qualify to vote. However, if an election is called and that elector is 18, they will be entitled to vote.
Myth 4: My son or daughter is going to university; they cannot be registered on campus and at home so they will have to specify one of the two locations
Reality: False - Students can remain registered at their home address and can also register at their university address. Although they are registered to vote from two addresses they should only vote at national elections from one of their addresses.
Myth 5: Not registering to vote will have no impact on my credit score.
Reality: False - You may actually be informed by a bank or credit reference agency that you have been denied credit because your name does not appear on the electoral register. This is because the electoral register is often used for credit referencing purposes to counteract fraud. Occasionally, the records maintained by credit reference agencies need updating - they should be able to supply you with a copy of your record so that you can check the details.
If you are not registered to vote, please: