Properties across Sheffield have begun to receive reminders about changes to the voter registration system. Last year changes came in meaning that each individual must complete a separate registration form, unlike the old system where everybody in the house did it together. One benefit of the new system though, is that you can now register online.
You may have been sent a letter from Sheffield City Council that tells you who is registered at your address. It is very likely that many people in Sheffield may have fallen off the voter register.
The changes may also mean your postal vote (if you need one) may need updating Check with Sheffield City Council to see if your postal vote is still up to date.
You can register to vote here: www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
Why register to vote?
1. Registering to vote allows you to have your voice heard
You might think your vote doesn’t matter on its own, but sometimes elections can come down to a handful of votes. If you want to have your say in who makes decisions that affect your local area or who represents your area in Westminster or express your views in referendums, you need to register.
If you miss a registration deadline for an election or do not register you will not be able to vote. The best thing to do is check your registered well before any election or referendum.
2. The fewer registered, the smaller Sheffield’s voice will be
The government decide electoral boundaries based on how many people are registered, not how many live in an area. Generally cities are under-registered, with more people off the register. The government’s planning a big boundary overhaul, and so it’s important we make sure Sheffield’s properly represented.
Some MPs may represent many more residents than others as a result of under-registration in their area - this is unfair on residents!
3. Registering to vote improves your credit rating
If you are saving to buy a property or preparing to take out a loan, registering to vote is one of the few things that improves your credit rating. It shows you are a “responsible individual” and could make the difference to your applications.