Re: registration versus living location #general

David Kravitz

Nick Landau wrote

As someone who has been involved in fighting elections, I know that when
one calls at a house, the name on the register will sometimes (not often)
be the name of the previous occupier - who in some cases might not have
been living there for quite a while. The names on the register are not
generally removed unless a form is received >from the household indicating
that a new family is living there.
The principle for electoral registration in England has not changed over the
last fifty years or so. Each summer every household is sent a registration
form by the local council which the head of the household must complete by
law. There is a qualification date which, if memory serves me correctly, is
either September 10 or October 10. The householder lists all the occupants
of the house over 18 plus any who will achieve that milestone during the
next 12 months. Clearly anyone who previously lived in the house but who has
died or moved away will *not* be listed.

This new list is available for review and correction later in the year and
becomes the voters’ list for the next 12 months in February the following year.
Contrary to what Nick states, no changes can then be made until the next process
starts the following summer. If a person moves, they must travel back to their
old location to vote and if inconvenient, they can apply for a postal vote.

As a rider, there was a way to appear twice up to the 1950s. A business
person could register at both the home address and the business address
allowing them to vote, at local elections only, twice.

If a householder fails to return a form, first a postal reminder is sent and if
that, too, is ignored there is a personal visit >from the local council. Only
if a home is empty or the occupants are not qualified to vote, will that
household fail to appear on the list. Thus it is not possible for old and
new occupants to be mixed, although there are occasions when occupants do
things wrong, deliberately and illegally. There is no form to upate the
register, mid-term, as Nick suggests.

I am sure this process is not unique to the UK, so it is perfectly feasible
for someone to live in one place but be registered many hundreds of miles
away (in my case 2,500) but only for a maximum of 15 months.

David Kravitz
Netanya, Israel

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