10 August 2015

The elections next year may seem a long way off, but Sheffield residents are now being encouraged to check if they are registered to vote.

Household enquiry forms will be dropping through letter boxes this month and the information provided will enable the City Council to send a separate registration form to those who still need to register.

A new system called ‘Individual Electoral Registration’ was introduced last year and everyone is now responsible for registering themselves. Under the old system the ‘head of each household’ could register everyone who lived at their address.

Around 90 per cent of eligible voters are already registered to vote and should have been moved onto the new system automatically.

But the aim is to ensure all eligible voters are registered and the letter from the Council will help to identify the ‘missing’ 10 per cent.

For those who don’t want to wait for the form, register to vote or up-date their details, it can be done online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote .

Registering online should take less than five minutes. People will be asked for their date of birth and National Insurance number to register. These details are checked against Government records to help make sure all registrations are genuine.

Unless residents apply to register under the new system, they will be removed on 1 December this year. It only takes a few minutes to register, but anyone who does not respond could be fined £80.

John Mothersole, Returning Officer for the elections in Sheffield said: “It’s important that everyone is registered to vote and is able to exercise their democratic rights when the elections take place next year.

“The Government has introduced a new system that places responsibility on individuals to ensure they are registered. It’s a very simple process and will only take a few minutes if your details have not been automatically transferred already.

“Look out for the forms dropping through your letter box this month. I would encourage you to check the details to ensure your name is listed so you don’t lose your right to vote next year.”

In May 2016 there will be elections for all 84 Sheffield City Council ward councillor seats as well as an election for the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner.