Your vote counts – don’t lose it

Your vote counts – don’t lose it
12 November 2020

People in Orkney are being reminded to check their voter registration details are up to date.

Over the past few months, the Electoral Registration Office in Orkney has been conducting its annual canvass to update the Register of Electors.

A second reminder form has now been issued to all households who are required to confirm their details and have not yet done so. Responding will ensure retention of the right to vote in future elections. Each form contains a personal security code to enable online returns to be made, or a pre-paid return envelope, should householders wish to post the completed form.

Dennis Stevenson, Electoral Registration Officer for the Orkney Islands area said: “We have been very pleased with the return of information this year, especially in the way that householders have used the online facility allowing them give us the response we need, easily and quickly, from the security of their own homes.

“This issue of forms is to all properties who have yet to get in contact with us. If you get a form, do not put it to one side but check the details, use the respond method of your choice and make any changes that are required, including adding any new electors.

“Recent changes to the voting franchise mean that all nationalities are now able to vote in Scottish Parliament and Council elections. So this will be an important opportunity for new voters to get on to the electoral register before next year’s Scottish Parliament elections in May 2021.”

If your household doesn’t receive a reminder form at this time you can still go online to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.

Advice can also be provided by the team at the Electoral Registration Office at 8 Broad Street, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NX. Tel: (01856) 876222. Email: ero@orkney.gov.uk

Further information

A Scottish Parliament election is scheduled for May 2021.

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 at: www.electoralcommission.org.uk

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535

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Orkney Islands Council: BOREAS DOMUS MARE AMICUS