Make sure you have your say - No vote means no voice
Residents in the Mansfield district are being urged to register to vote as part of Mansfield District Council's annual electoral registration canvass.
Eligible electors must be on the electoral register to vote in any election, by-election or referendum. Responding to this registration canvass is a legal requirement and anyone who fails to comply with this request to register to vote could be fined up to £1000.
The annual canvass starts on 5 August 2011 and lists all the people currently on the electoral register at each address. Every home in Mansfield will receive a voter registration form and explanatory leaflet by 14 August.
There are two versions of the electoral register - the full and edited registers. Only certain people and organisations can have copies of the full register and can only use it for specified reasons. The edited register can be bought by anyone who asks for it and can be used for any purpose, including direct marketing.
On your electoral registration form you can opt to have your details excluded from the edited register. This will mean your details cannot be bought by individuals and commercial organisations.
However from this year, a change has been made to the opting out process following advice from the Electoral Commission.
Electors could previously choose to tick a box on the form to opt out of being on the edited electoral register and could arrange to have this pre-ticked each year. However from this year if an elector wishes to opt out they must do so by ticking the box every year.
Each household will need to make sure that their details are correct on the form. If there no changes to be made, details can be renewed via text, telephone, online or by post. However if there are any incorrect details or if anyone needs to added or crossed out, the form must be signed and posted in the freepost envelope provided.
Failing to register can severely affect your chances of getting credit, as many companies use the voters list to verify names and addresses when people apply for mortgages, loans, bank accounts and mobile phone contracts.
Ruth Marlow, Managing Director, Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer at Mansfield District Council, said: "An election can be called at any time and if you're not on the electoral register you will miss out on a chance to say on how the country is run or how services are provided in your area."
Anyone who has not received an electoral registration form should call Mansfield District Council on 01623 463345. Alternatively, a downloadable registration form is available from www.aboutmyvote.co.uk
Further information is also available at www.mansfield.gov.uk/elections