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Not registering to vote hits taxpayer in the pocket

Published date: 23 January 2014 |
Published by: Nathan Rowden
Read more articles by Nathan Rowden


 

VOTER apathy in Wrexham could cost taxpayers as much as £22,000.

Wrexham Council sent voter registration forms out to more than 58,000 homes across the county borough in October, asking residents to fill them in and return them to be eligible to vote.

Reminders have already been sent to those homes that have not returned the form, but there are still about 11,000 forms outstanding across Wrexham, according to the council.

The law requires electoral registration staff to now visit properties that have not returned a form. But every visit costs the council taxpayers of Wrexham about £2.

The total bill for the thousands of visits could be £22,000 – paid for from the public purse.

Council chiefs hope the total will come down before the deadline for returning forms, but residents who have not already registered to vote this year have been told by Wrexham Council they can expect a knock on the door during the next few weeks.

Canvassers with ID cards and a photograph will visit properties from tomorrow onwards and anyone who still has their form is urged to return it as soon as possible to save a visit and lessen the strain on the taxpayers.

Cllr Neil Rogers, leader of the council, said: “Registering to vote is the only way you can have a vote in the European elections in May and I encourage all residents to register using the forms sent out recently.

“Registering will also save the council money as the less calls they have to make the less it costs.

“All our canvassers will be carrying full identification and for your safety please make sure you ask to see this first.”

There are a number of ways to respond to the form including a freephone telephone number, online or text for those households who have no changes to make to the information on their form.

Amendments must be made by returning the form in the post.

Full instructions to help residents register their information are provided with the registration forms.

The new register will be published on March 10.

For more news from across the region visit newsnorthwales.co.uk

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