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.

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