Council taking steps to ensure voters are registered ahead of elections next year

Steps are being taken by City Council officers to ensure that everyone who is eligible is registered to vote ahead of next year’s council elections.

What’s happening? The local authority is already completing its annual canvassing service to identify everyone who should be on the electoral register by engaging with citizens who should be registered but are currently not, as well as electors who are no longer at a property and should therefore be removed from the register.

In 2014 the Individual Electoral Registration (IER) was introduced to convert information gathered from canvassing into actual changes on the electoral register.

Why it matters: As canvassing is no longer part of the registration process, electoral registration officers must invite potential new electors to apply to register and verify their identity. It is hoped the process is easier and clearer for citizens to use.

A revised version of the electoral register must be published by December 1 every year following the conclusion of the annual canvass. An update was brought before the general purposes committee this week.

Council officer William McFarlane explained: “Members will be aware that the purpose of the annual canvas is to maintain the currency and accuracy of the register by capturing changes to households in the period to the last canvas.

“Prior to canvas reform the process was overly bureaucratic, time consuming and expensive to administer. Most importantly it was not well received among the electors in Glasgow.

“Registration is a year round process where we continue to invite people to register as well as reviewing those who believe they are no longer eligible to vote.

“Canvas still does provide the opportunity to capture change that will then initiate individual registration processes and improve the accuracy of the register.

“Glasgow will be making use of telephone and email technology for the 2021 canvas and we will monitor the need for physical visits when alternate channels prove unsuccessful.”

How to register to vote: For more information and to register, visit the Glasgow City Council website.