Thousands could ‘lose’ right to vote

Early voting at a polling station at the Solaris Centre in South Shore''Date: 06-05-2010
Early voting at a polling station at the Solaris Centre in South Shore''Date: 06-05-2010
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Thousands of Blackpool residents could be left without a vote at the upcoming elections, town hall chiefs warned today.

Blackpool Council has revealed 7,000 people have ‘dropped off’ the electoral register in the resort and will be unable to vote at May’s General Election and local elections unless they register before April 20.

Now town hall bosses are urging people to ensure they are registered.

Previously, one person in every household was responsible for registering everyone else who lives at that address.

But a new system of individual electoral registration has been introduced which means each person is now required to register to vote individually.

People who have remained at the same address and are on the old household register from December 2013 will still be entitled to vote in 2015 - but anyone who has moved house in the interim must re-register.

Over the last few weeks every property in Blackpool has received a letter confirming the details of the people registered at that address.

This has already prompted thousands of people to get in touch to check they are registered or update their details.

Neil Jack, chief executive of Blackpool Council, said: “This year’s elections will see Blackpool’s voters go to the polls to select MPs and councillors at the same time, the first time that’s been the case since 1997.

“This is, therefore, an extremely important poll that will shape the direction the town goes in for many years to come and it’s vital people have their say.

“It’s very straight forward to check that you’re registered, just give us a call and we can let you know.”

In Fylde, around 700 people have dropped off the register, while Wyre Council declined to supply figures but said the issue was not a problem in the borough.