HOUSEHOLDS are being urged to respond to emails asking them to confirm their electoral roll information.
Dorset Council has reassured people the emails – which will be sent to all properties in their area – are not a scam.
Sent from firstname.lastname@example.org, with a subject line of, ‘Act Now so that Dorset Council can check who is eligible to be registered to vote’, the emails are part of an annual canvass.
Households, where there appears to have been no changes in residency, will start receiving emails from August 7 and a response is required to the email – even if the details in the email are correct.
If they don’t respond, they could face a fine of up to £1,000.
If there have been changes in your household, for example you have moved house, or someone in your household has reached 16 or 17 years, you can provide the information by visiting www.householdresponse.com/Dorset and log on using the security codes supplied on the email.
From August 15, Canvass Forms (CF) will be sent out to properties where the council has been unable to confirm all the residents.
A response is required to this form and can be done in the following ways:
* online at householdresponse.com/Dorset and log on using the security codes supplied on the form
* Complete the form supplied with the letter and return it to the address provided
If there are no changes to information, people can either:
* Call 0800 197 9871 and supply the security code from the letter (mobile providers may charge for this service)
* Text NOCHANGE followed by the security code on your letter to 80212 (mobile providers may charge for this service)
Further Canvass Communication Forms (CCA) will be sent sometime in early September to properties for which the council does not have email contact details.
Jonathan Mair, director of legal & democratic at Dorset Council, said: “It is important that everyone who is entitled to vote can do so. I encourage residents to keep a look out for the email and help us keep costs down by responding online or by telephone wherever possible.
“We have to carry out the annual canvass by law. Please respond online or by telephone wherever possible.
“As well as saving the council money by not having to send reminders, we will not need to arrange personal visits from appointed electoral canvassers to obtain the information.”
He added: “Being able to vote gives you the chance to have a say on who represents you.
“This is all the more important ahead of local elections to Dorset Council and towns and parishes and the election of the Police and Crime Commissioner in May 2024.
“Being registered to vote also helps people who want to apply for credit. The register is also used by credit agencies to confirm where someone lives when they apply for credit to counteract fraud.”
Anyone with questions should contact the council’s elections team on 01305 838299.
Under Section 23 of the Representation of the Peoples Regulations 2001 it is a legal requirement to provide the information requested, and people can be fined up to £1,000 for not doing so.