Being on the electoral register is important for more than just voting
Yet new Equifax data reveals that 2% less UK citizens registered to vote in 2015* compared to the previous year
For a British citizen to have a say in the outcome of the 2015 General Election they must be on the electoral register. Being able to vote is the primary purpose for being on the electoral register, but it can also affect so much more – from buying a house to signing up for a mobile phone. Yet new data from credit information provider, Equifax, reveals that less British citizens were registered to vote last Autumn than the previous year.
Two percent less adults registered to vote in the 2014 annual Electoral Roll registration for the whole of the UK compared to the previous year. Ceredigion and Oxford recorded the biggest drops year on year–with 87.7% and 89.3% of adults registered to vote, respectively, compared to 2013. Wellingborough saw the greatest increase in registrations with 6.5% more registering to vote than the previous year.
Looking at those registered to vote in Scotland, 11 out of 18 local authorities saw an increase in citizens registering to vote year on year. Lothian saw the greatest increase with 3.9% more adults registered to vote compared to the previous year.
“Being able to vote on May 7th 2015 is every British citizen’s right” said Laura Barrett, Equifax Consumer Affairs. “It’s also important to be on the electoral register if planning to apply for credit or a new service or utility contract, such as a mobile phone contract.
“The electoral roll is used by many companies for identity verification purposes, in order to combat fraud. Consumers should register on the electoral roll at their current address by contacting their local authority. It’s an important first step towards giving them the best chance of getting the credit they need – and of course being able to vote on 7th May.”
There is still time for UK adults to register to vote ahead of the General Election. Anyone can check if they’re registered to vote by contacting their local Electoral Registration Officer and details can be found on Gov.uk. For residents of England, Wales and Scotland not on the electoral roll they can visit Gov.uk by 20th April 2015 to register. For residents of Northern Ireland they should visit the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland website by the same date.
What is electoral roll data?
Electoral roll information shows on your credit report if you are registered to vote at your current address In England, Wales and Northern Ireland the electoral register is published by each local authority on 1st December each year and is added to credit reports early in January. In Scotland the update occurs in March.
How is it used?
Electoral roll data is used by lenders to help verify a customer’s identity. If an individual is registered to vote, it will appear on their credit report as a ‘good’ risk signal. If moving home it’s important to register with the local authority for the new address. It can take up to six weeks for changes to the electoral roll to appear on the credit report, so planning future credit requirements is a worthwhile activity.
The Equifax Credit Report is accessible for 30 days free simply by logging onto www.equifax.co.uk. If customers do not cancel before the end of the 30 Day Free Trial, the service will continue at £9.95 per month, giving them unlimited online access to their credit information and weekly alerts on any changes to their credit file. It also includes an online dispute facility to help them correct any errors on their credit file simply and quickly.
*Annual Electoral Registration for 2015 published by local authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland - December 2014 and in Scotland – March 2015.
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Equifax is a global leader in consumer, commercial and workforce information solutions that provide businesses of all sizes and consumers with insight and information they can trust. Equifax organizes and assimilates data on more than 600 million consumers and 81 million businesses worldwide. The company’s significant investments in differentiated data, its expertise in advanced analytics to explore and develop new multi-source data solutions, and its leading-edge proprietary technology enable it to create and deliver unparalleled customized insights that enrich both the performance of businesses and the lives of consumers.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Equifax operates or has investments in 18 countries and is a member of Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500® Index. Its common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EFX. In 2013, Equifax was named a Bloomberg BusinessWeek Top 50 company, was #3 in Fortune's Most Admired list in its category, and was named to InfoWeek 500 as well as the FinTech 100. For more information, please visit www.equifax.com.