Registration forms will shortly be sent to all households in the Isle of Man as part of the 2019 update of the electoral register.
The annual canvass helps to capture the information required to maintain an accurate record of people who are eligible to vote or serve on a jury.
Forms will be posted the week commencing 14 January 2019 to all households currently listed on the electoral register and to ‘The Occupier’ at properties with no registered electors.
It is a legal requirement to respond to the annual canvass, even if an individual chooses not to exercise their democratic right to vote.
Not being registered can also affect a person’s credit reference history and potentially result in an application for a mortgage, loan or mobile phone contract being refused.
Improvements have been introduced in recent years to make the canvass process quicker and easier for residents, as well as generating efficiencies for the Government.
For most households the printed details on their registration form, such as the address and list of eligible voters living at the property, will remain unchanged. If that is the case, people can respond in less than a minute via a telephone call, text message or online.
The online option is also available for people to notify the Electoral Registration Unit of any amendments to the prepopulated information.
Responses can still be provided by completing and signing the paper form and returning it in the pre-paid envelope provided. However, people are encouraged to use a computer, tablet or mobile phone where possible, as it costs more to deal with paper and postal returns than it does for online, phone or text messages.
Future developments will support a move towards e-canvassing for households who wish to be contacted by email rather than by post.
Electoral Registration Officer Della Fletcher said:
‘An accurate electoral register is vital to the integrity of the Island’s democratic process. We need to update our information every year to capture any changes of address or revisions to the list of eligible voters in a household.’
‘We are continuing to improve the process to make it simpler and more convenient for everyone. With a phone call, text or a few clicks online, people can now respond in a matter of seconds.’
The deadline for responses to the 2019 annual canvass is 18 March.