With the general election fast approaching on 7 May, here’s the Electoral Commission on why it’s important to register to vote. Did you know, for example, that not registering could damage your credit rating?
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.
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.
Home movers unlikely to register
We know that some groups of people are less likely to be registered, including those that have recently moved. Only 40% of those who’ve moved house in the last year have registered to vote. If you’ve lived where you are now for 16 years, the figure is a much more impressive 94%!
There’s also a difference between renters and homeowners, where 63% of private renters are registered compared to 94% of outright homeowners:
Registering to vote and your credit score
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.
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. Make sure you’re in by the deadline on 20 April.
Are you all set and registered to vote? Did you know that failing to register could affect your credit rating?
This is a guest post by Alex Roberston, Director of Communications at The Electoral Commission. All opinions are Alex’s own, not necessarily those of Which?