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Did you know if you don’t register to vote, you may fail a credit check?

Polling station

With the UK Parliamentary general election fast approaching on 7 May, it’s now more important than ever to ensure that you are registered to vote by the deadline on 20 April.

Last year saw the start of the transition to Individual Electoral Registration (IER), which meant a move away from the Victorian head of household registration system to one where everyone is responsible for registering themselves. In addition, for the first time, electors in England, Scotland and Wales can also now register online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.

It only takes a few minutes and it’s hard to believe that until last summer the only way you could register to vote was filling in a paper form.

We know that some groups of people are less likely to be registered, including those that have recently moved. 60% of those who have moved house in the last year aren’t registered to vote. If you’ve lived where you are now for 16 years the figure is just 6%!

There are also other advantages of being on the electoral register. For instance, did you know that it can improve your credit rating?

This is because credit reference agencies can use the electoral register to confirm where you live in order to counteract fraud. It also helps them verify who you are and where you have been living in the past. So if you are thinking about buying a home and will need a mortgage, then being on the electoral register could make the difference to whether you pass a lenders credit checks or not.

From 16 March, the Electoral Commission will be running a national public awareness campaign to get people registered to vote, but our work has already started. We are working with organisations like Which? to help us let those groups of people – such as  home movers – know what they need to do to get registered.

At the end of the day, if you don’t vote your voice won’t be heard.  So our message is simple, register as soon as you can because if you’re not registered, you can’t vote.

Remember, it’s now possible to register quickly and easily online. So go now to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. Your vote matters. Make sure you’re in.

 


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Written by Alex Robertson | Posted on 5th February 2015

Alex Robertson joined the Electoral Commission in April 2008 as Head of Media and Public Affairs, becoming Director of Communication on a twelve month secondment in October 2010. He previously held senior communications and policy roles at the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) and Transport for London. He is currently a governor at Sunnyhill Primary School, Streatham.

Website: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote