1 The rules have changed
It was previously possible for someone within a household to register everyone on their behalf. This is no longer the case. Every single person in the UK who is eligible to vote must register as an individual – no one can do this for you. If you have not yet registered as an individual it is likely that you have disappeared from the Electoral Register.
2 Registering is quick and easy
Registering to vote can be done on the government website and will only take up 5 minutes of your time. The only information you will need is your national insurance number. Alternatively you can register by post if you prefer.
3 Being on the electoral register has a positive effect on your credit rating
That’s right – registering to vote boosts your credit score. Credit card agencies use the Electoral Register to verify your existence. This means that when applying for a credit card, loan or mortgage, your chances of being accepted will increase if you have registered to vote.
4 Not being registered could lead to a fine
It is a legal requirement to be registered to vote. If you have been asked to register to vote and do not do so, your local Electoral Registration office could issue you with a fine of £80. Probably best to avoid the hassle and register now!
5 Being registered is your key to using your political voice
If you are not on the Electoral Register you won’t be able to vote during elections and referendums. Voting is the simplest way of making your voice heard within the political system as it gives you the power to vote politicians in or out. You might be thinking that one vote doesn’t make a difference, but it does. A politician who is pledging policies that will have a positive effect on your life is more likely to get into power if you support them. Every vote counts.
6 People from BME backgrounds are less likely to be registered to vote
The BME community has been identified by the Electoral Commission as one of the groups who is least likely to be registered to vote. Without more people from BME communities participating in the political system, the opinions and concerns of BME communities will not be heard by key decision makers. The more people who engage in politics, the more Parliament will reflect the views of all communities in the UK.
7 Not being registered could negatively impact your local area during the Boundary Review
From March this year, a Constituency boundary review will take place which will see the number of constituencies in the UK reduce from 650 to 600 in time for the next General Election in 2018.
The review will try to make sure that all constituencies have roughly the same number of constituents living within them – this will be done using the data from the Electoral Register.
If there are a large number of people missing from the Electoral Register, the calculations will be inaccurate meaning that some constituencies will have a greater number of people living in them than others. This would lead to some constituencies having their resources, and budget stretched over a greater number of people than expected, which could affect the quality of services such as the NHS, education and sports and recreational facilities in your local area.