Over the last couple weeks there have been many adverts and information about The Electoral Office of Northern Ireland’s ‘Registration Canvass 2013’.
If like me you haven’t received your forms yet then you can be proactive and contact the local Electoral Office, request a form and register yourself. You can however choose to wait until your form arrives but please do not let this opportunity pass you by.
Your vote enables you to have a say on who represents you in your local council, in the UK Parliament and in Europe.
There are four types of election in Northern Ireland.
• Westminster parliamentary elections – to elect MPs
• Northern Ireland Assembly elections – to elect MLAs
• European parliamentary elections – to elect MEPs
• Local council elections – to elect councillors
However, there are other benefits to being registered, some of these include being able to receive insurance, opening savings accounts, obtaining public services – like getting a passport, applying for certain types of employment and of course proof of I.D/age.
This canvass is predominately aimed at those aged between 17 and 24 to ensure that they have a voice and input into their future. So if you are in this age group please take this occasion to collect your vote.
If you are blind or partially sighted you can request a card with a Braille overlay. Please make a note on your postal application or inform the Area Office staff if applying in person.
If you cannot go to the polling station in person due to health or employment reasons, such as being in the Armed Forces, then you can apply to vote by post or proxy (where you appoint someone to vote on your behalf). You must provide a reason why you cannot vote in person.
If you have moved house or back into the country since the last election this is a chance to update your electoral details and ensure your vote comes to you.
Elections can be called at short notice and if you’re not registered you are not able to vote.
If you’re a student living away from home, you can still register. It’s easier than you think!
For any further help or assistance, do not hesitate to contact myself, any of the other DUP Councillors or the Electoral Office, 20(a) Queen Street, BT48 7EQ: Helpline: 0800 4320 712, Textphone: 0800 3284 502