Act now to ensure your vote counts in 2016
Next year 2016 will be another big year for democracy, with a range of elections coming up including for national government in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, mayoral elections in England and the possibility of an EU Referendum. For you to be able to have a say in these elections, you must be registered to vote – and as a result of new electoral registration changes, many of you who think that you are registered to vote, may actually not be come 2016, unless you re-register individually. It’s therefore vital that we act now to ensure that your voices are heard in 2016.
Individual Electoral Registration
This new system, which came into place in June 2014, means that everyone must register themselves to vote individually, rather than the old system where one ‘head of household’ would register everyone at a property. The transition to full IER was due to be completed in December 2016, however the government has fast-forwarded its plan by a year to December 2015. Anybody not registered to vote by 1 December 2015 will therefore be left off the new register and will not be eligible to vote in the May 2016 elections unless they register individually under the new system.
Constituency boundary review
This coincides with a review of the existing electoral constituency boundaries. Current electoral boundaries are based on population. The Government’s planned boundary changes would see the new constituencies based on electoral registration instead.
What does this mean for students?
An Electoral Commission analysis of the registers used for the May 2015 elections, presented to Parliament on 18th June 2015, found that there were still 1.9 million entries being retained under the transitional arrangements in place for the move to IER from the previous household system. The Government’s order to accelerate the end of the transition will see any of the retained entries still on the register by 1st December 2015 deleted. A disproportionately high number of these entries are likely to be students.
What do I need to do?
Ensure you're registered! As a student, you're able to register to vote at both home and at your University term-time address (you can only vote once though). To ensure that changes in the Liverpool area, ensure that you're registered to vote in the upcoming Police & Crime Commissioner and Mayoral Elections in 2016.