Electoral register

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Tuesday 4 December 2007 7.46pm
Has anyone else had problems getting on the electoral register this year? I have registered online for the last several years but that requires receiving two security codes. This year I did not get the form with these - but Southwark Council refuse to believe this. They eventually sent me out a registration form when I complained but it had no security codes on it. I duly completed the paper version and returned it promptly in October. Yesterday I came home to find ANOTHER form in my mail box along with a threatening note stating that I would be fined 1000 if I did not register! I have completed that one but will have to post it since there is no facility to do it online. If it goes missing in our notorious post or their system - what do you suggest? I neither have the time nor the inclination to waste my life on this despite being a fairly political animal. Just wondered whether I am alone in this -- beginning to wonder whether it is just bad luck or some kind of scam?
Zoe
Tuesday 4 December 2007 10.51pm
You could try ringing on 020 7525 7373, and tell them what has happened. You might be able to get them to ring you to confirm they've had the form once you've sent it in.
Wednesday 5 December 2007 4.04pm
Me and my wife had a similar problem, we phoned them and told them we'd filled the form in and returned it, they had a record of us doing so and they didn't know why 2 1000 fine letters were sent to us

Somehow I can't see this elctoral register being accurate...
Wednesday 5 December 2007 4.23pm
I've been knocking on doors for the by-election and the register is hopeless. Partly it's a bad time of year, and people who register when they move will get letters about the annual canvas anyway, but a lot of it is "oh, no that's my landlord, he doesn't live here".

Yes dears, and has your landlord told his bank that he needed a buy-to-let mortgage not a residential one? Oops!
Zoe
Wednesday 5 December 2007 8.59pm
Not to sound completely outraged, but I worked doing electoral registration for Southwark, and got a 94% responce rate, and tried very hard to ensure that the right people registered. It's quite frustrating when people are never home, or keep telling you to come back the next day, when you've been there 6 times already.

There's a man on my route who has sworn at me everytime I've rung his buzzer, for several years. He lives in a posh block, and everyone else in the block registers. Residents can be quite obnoxious, and it's actually quite a hard job. The staff in the electoral office are very dedicated, but it's a big job to register everybody, particularly when many don't want to be registered.

The post strike also made it imposible this year to get an accurate register.

Oh dear, I'll stop ranting now.
Sunday 9 December 2007 8.03am
Success! Just got an email to say that I am on the register and I got an apology as well. Zoe, I appreciate that it may well be frustrating when people are 'never in' but some of us work very long hours including shifts. Perhaps what is needed is a system whereby an email might be sent ahead of time stating when the canvasser is going to call. There could then be some negotiation about times - cumbersome I admit but it might save the stress of both the canvasser and the elector in the long run.
Zoe
Sunday 9 December 2007 4.58pm
I would love to arrange a time in advance, it would make life a lot easier.

The problem is that those who would take part in such a scheme, such as yourself, as very responsible and return their forms anyway (and persist when Southwark is completely useless)

It's those who don't care who don't return their form, and I have to visit 10 times, and then they shout abuse at me.....
Monday 10 December 2007 8.04am
Zoe I'm glad your posting on this thread, can you settle a question that's been puzzling me? If I move here from another country and phone to register on the electoral roll, what checks are made to ensure people are here bona fide and not illegally registering to vote etc.?
Monday 10 December 2007 10.47am
This all sounds very long-winded. They just send us a letter (?each year?) with the names of who was registered at our flat last year (which was us), and we have to send it back with details of any changes in people.

Don't think I've ever had to force myself onto the register, as the OP describes.

...if you press it, they will come.
Zoe
Monday 10 December 2007 8.03pm
Hi Jan,

You can't register by phone or internet if you want to make changes to the previous information held. So new residents have to fill out the form properly, sign it and return it.

There are still risks that people will give false information, but this fraud might be discovered either by other sections of the council cross checking, or by credit reference agencies, which hold an incredible amount of information about us.

I'm sure that in the future, once we have ID cards, (if they go ahead), we'll need to show it before registering.

In my experiance people committing fraud are generally keen to stay off the electoral register. I'm always suspicous of those who won't register!

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