Innovative approach on the cards to boost voter registration

Councils across Somerset are targeting properties with no registered voters in a bid to boost turn out for County Council elections on 4 May.

In an innovative initiative, mock poll cards are being sent to almost 30,000 properties reminding the occupiers that they are not yet registered to vote.

The cards, which are being distributed by all five district councils in a cross-county initiative, give clear instructions on how to register to vote and a contact number for further help and advice.

At the beginning of March there were 418,000 registered electors in the county.

With just over two weeks left it is hoped these helpful reminders will encourage potential voters to meet the 13 April deadline for getting your name on the voter register.

Nationally figures show that younger people, private renters and people who have lived at an address for less than one year are less likely to be registered to vote.

A spokesperson for the district and county councils said: “We want as many people as possible to come out and vote on 4 May and this is the first time we have tried an initiative like this.

“There will be many eligible people out there who for one reason or another aren’t on the electoral register and we hope this is the nudge they need to sign up before 13 April.”

There are 55 seats available across the county when residents go to the polls, each a chance to make a real difference to local communities and get involved in the huge range of services provided by the County Council.

The seats cover the district council areas with Mendip 11 seats, Sedgemoor 12, South Somerset 17, Taunton Deane 11 and West Somerset 4.

District councils run the elections process on behalf of the County Council, including administering the voter registration. Any questions about registering to vote should be made to the Elections Officer at your local district council.

Number of registered electors, as of 1 March, 2017: Mendip 85,674, Sedgemoor 92,457, South Somerset 126,929, Taunton Deane 86,098 and West Somerset 27,252.

The number of cards being sent per district is as follows:

  • Sedgemoor – 5493
  • South Somerset – 7932
  • Mendip – 5132
  • Taunton Deane – 8,259
  • West Somerset – 3,148