Every voice matters – make sure you can vote

Sign encouraging people to vote with caption your vote is your voice

Published: Thursday, 28th June 2018

We are supporting National Democracy Week by encouraging residents to look out for their annual household enquiry forms which are being distributed throughout the Borders in July.

Take part in the annual canvass

The forms are being issued as part of the annual canvass which is held to ensure that the electoral register is up to date.

It also enables any residents who are not registered to be identified so that they can be encouraged to do so.

Have you moved?

People who have moved address recently are particularly encouraged to keep an eye out for the form and check the details.

Research by the independent Electoral Commission indicates that recent home movers are far less likely to be registered than those that have lived at the same address for a long time. Across Great Britain, 94% of people who have been at their property for more than sixteen years will be registered compared to 40% of people who have lived at an address for less than one year.

Brian Rout, Electoral Registration Officer

“National Democracy Week is being held on the 90th anniversary of the 1928 Equal Franchise Act which gave women the same voting rights as men and is an opportunity for us all to be reminded that every voice does matter, and that we should all exercise our democratic rights and make sure we are registered to vote.

“We would ask that people look out for the forms over the next week or two and respond as soon as possible. This enables us to make sure we have the right details on the electoral register for every address in the Borders and is how people can guarantee they can have their say at future elections - all they have to do is check the form when it arrives and respond as soon as they can.

“The quickest and most cost effective way to do that is digitally, either online, by phone or text and we would encourage as many people as possible to take advantage of these options for the speed and convenience that they provide.

“People should also be aware that if they’re not currently registered, their name will not appear on the form. If they want to register, the easiest way is online. In any case, they will still need to complete the household enquiry form.”

Andy O’Neill, Head of the Electoral Commission, Scotland

“It’s really important that everyone who is entitled to vote is able to do so; checking the form that will arrive through the post is one of the easiest ways to find out if you are already registered. There’s lots of helpful information about registering to vote on the Electoral Commission website."

Get your form in as soon as possible

Voters have until the end of November to submit their forms but are asked to do so as soon as they can.

What if I have any questions?

If you have any queries, contact our Electoral Registration Office:

More information

The electoral register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in public elections. It is used for electoral purposes, such as making sure only eligible people can vote. It is also used for other limited purposes specified in law, such as detecting crime (e.g. fraud), calling people for jury service or checking credit applications.

The open register is an extract of the electoral register, but is not used for elections. It can be bought by any person, company or organisation. For example, it is used by businesses and charities to confirm name and address details. Your name and address will be included in the open register unless you ask for them to be removed. Removing your details from the open register does not affect your right to vote.

To be eligible to register to vote in Scotland a person must be:

  1. Aged 14 or over (a person may register to vote at 14, but may not vote until they are 16 in Scottish Parliament and Local Government elections. A person must be 18 to vote at UK Parliamentary General elections and European Parliament elections.)
  2. A British or qualifying Commonwealth citizen who has leave to enter and remain in the UK or does not require such leave.
  3. A citizen of the Republic of Ireland or other European Union (EU) member state.
  4. 16 and 17 year olds can only vote in local elections and elections to the Scottish Parliament.