As the General Election looms, Kate Lewis, our Head of Data Strategy argues the benefits of being on the Electoral Roll extend way beyond just being able to vote.
Published: Friday April 10, 2015
Written by on News
“I don’t need to be on the electoral register if I’m not interested in voting in elections/ referendums.”
Wrong! Even if you don’t care about politics, take the time to register on the electoral register, to help yourself in the future. Are you telling me you will never want to borrow money or protect your identity from fraud or even receive a windfall?
The electoral register is used for ID verification. Who cares, I hear you say… For credit to be approved, lenders need to confirm an individual’s identity so they check you are who you say you are, and the electoral register is a crucial piece of evidence in confirming this. So, if you can honestly say you will never want to get a mortgage, take out a loan or even apply for a mobile phone contract, then feel free to ignore me.
“Ok, I get it, but I don’t want to be on the Open Register as I don’t want to be marketed to”
The Open Register is about more than just marketing – did you know it’s used for asset reunification? Hand on heart, every time you’ve moved house have you remembered to notify anyone you have interacted with about your change of address? Did you remember to change your maiden name on that old pension when you got married? And what about one of your relatives who died, were you/they aware of all the investments they had? Would you not be interested in receiving money you are entitled to?
Were you also aware that certain types of assets must be handed over to the UK Courts 12 years after acquisition (Companies Act 2006, Section 982). Register today before it’s too late, so you have this money in your pocket rather than losing it?
Marketers today are very careful about how they use your person information. What’s the point in wasting money targeting you with something you might not be interested in? They want to engage with you, not upset you. If you’re still adamant you want to limit the amount of direct mailing you receive, you can register with the Mailing Preference Service. Doing this means you will remain on the Open Register, so your Identity Information can be used to benefit you.
“Ok, but why do I need to register? My Dad does it for all of us who live at home.”
From 10 June 2014 in England & Wales and from 19 September 2015 in Scotland, Individual Electoral Registration came into effect. Historically the “head of the household” would register all residents who were eligible, but under the new system, you need to register yourself.
If you want to exercise your right to vote in the General Election in May you have until 20th April to register. Even if you don’t want to vote, hopefully this article has helped explain why it’s important for you to be on the Electoral Register. It’s really quick and easy to do – all you need is your National Insurance Number and your date of birth, and it can all be done online - https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. Do it today, it will online take 5 minutes and will make your life easier!