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Don’t lose your voice - residents in Orkney urged to check their voter registration details are up to date

Date: 03 September 2021

Time: 16:00

Graphic from the Electoral Commission - make sure your correct details are on the electoral register

Local residents are being asked to ensure that they don’t lose their voice on decisions that affect them by making sure their electoral registration details are up to date.
With council elections taking place in Orkney in May 2022, this is an important opportunity for residents to make sure they can take part.

The Electoral Registration Office are getting in touch with every household to check that the electoral register is up to date, and to identify any residents who should be registered but are currently missing. With all nationalities able to vote in local elections in Scotland, this will be an important opportunity to ensure these new voters can get onto the electoral register before next year’s local government elections.

Ian Leslie, Depute Electoral Registration Officer for Orkney and Shetland said: “Residents need to keep an eye out for our letter, so we can make sure we have the right details on the electoral register for every address in Orkney and you are able to vote in any forthcoming elections. You might not have been able to vote before the extension of the voting rights last year, so you may be able to vote now – but only if you are registered”.

“If you’re not currently registered, your name will not appear on the letter that has been sent to your home. The easiest way to register is online, just follow the instructions on your letter.”

People who have moved recently are also particularly encouraged to look out for the voter registration letters from the Electoral Registration Office and check the details. Research by the Electoral Commission indicates that recent home movers are far less likely to be registered than those who have lived at the same address for a long time. Across Great Britain, 92% of people who have been at their property for more than sixteen years will be registered, compared to 36% of people who have lived at an address for less than one year.

Andy O’Neill, Head of Electoral Commission in Scotland, said: “It doesn’t matter where you were born. If you are aged 16 and over you are able to vote in elections in Scotland but only if you register to vote first. Checking the messages that you will get from your Electoral Registration Office is the easiest way to see if you’re registered to vote. If you’re not, make sure you provide the necessary information to your Electoral Registration Officer when it is needed.”

Information on registering to vote is available on the Electoral Commission website.

Any residents who have any questions can contact the Electoral Registration Office by phone: 01856 876222, email: or at 8 Broad Street, Kirkwall, KW15 1NX

More information:

Council elections are scheduled to take place in Scotland in May 2022.

The Representation of the People Act 1983 places a duty on Electoral Registration Officers to maintain the electoral register for their area and to conduct an annual canvass of all residential properties.

The electoral register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in elections. The register 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 a person must be:Aged 14 or over (a person may register to vote at 14, but may not vote until they are 16 for Scottish Parliament and council elections and aged 18 for UK Parliament elections).

A British, Irish, EU or other foreign citizen who has leave to enter and remain in the UK or does not require such leave.

Full details on who can vote in elections in Scotland can be found here.

Full details of the Electoral Commission’s research on the electoral registers can be found on its website.

  • Summary:

    Local residents are being asked to ensure that they don’t lose their voice on decisions that affect them by making sure their electoral registration details are up to date.

  • Category:
    Public Notices

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535

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