Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser
Help for first time voters
Annual electoral registration canvassing in Lanarkshire is almost complete and help has been offered to people who may be registering for the first time.
After beginning the first canvassing in August, work is almost finished for the campaign.
Each year, the electoral registration officer carries out an annual canvass to update the electoral register to see if there are any changes to the household.
Where individuals did not respond to the initial registration letter, a reminder was sent to them and further follow up action was carried out including household visits.
The door-to-door element of canvassing in Lanarkshire has been completed for around 35,000 households.
At the Lanarkshire Valuation Joint Board earlier this month, Councillor Jim Wardhaugh questioned the extent of help given to foreign nationals registering to vote for the first time in Scotland.
He said: “We have a number of asylum seekers, or people who have been granted asylum and have settled in South Lanarkshire and North Lanarkshire. Do the officers visit those particular families to make sure that they are familiar with the voting procedures and the regulations for postal votes, or do they get simply get a postal notification like the majority of people?”
In response, the electoral registration officer for Lanarkshire, Gary Bennett, said: “We’ve just undertaken the comprehensive canvass, and where we haven’t received a response, we did undertake the door to door of all households, so they would have been contacted and provided assistance to any essentially under registered group, so they would have had a visit to the household.”
The next Scottish local elections are to be held on Thursday, May 5.