As you are all probably no doubt aware, by now, 2015 is the year of a General Election. In my constituency this is being held alongside elections for both South Oxfordshire and The Vale of White Horse District Councils and elections for many towns and parishes.
The way people register to vote is changing and it is very important that as many of you as possible have the chance to have your say at the ballot box. Individual Electoral registration (IER) is being implemented which requires each person to register to vote individually rather than by household. Residents who have automatically been re-registered on the electoral roll will have received a confirmation letter from the returning officer, and will not have to do anything more.
To try and increase the number of people registered to vote council staff will be visiting the homes of those who are not registered, or who have not sent back forms asking who lives at the property. These canvassers will always carry identification badges, so please ask to see them, and there is no need for them to enter your homes. You can register securely online by visiting www.gov.uk/yourvotematters or by contacting the shared elections office on 01235 540310.
Thursday May 7th (the date of the election) falls in a week with the May Day bank holiday on the Monday, so if you are planning to take this opportunity to go on holiday, please register for a postal vote as soon as possible.
As so many elections are taking place at the same time, counting the votes is being spread over several days. The General Election votes will be counted after polling stations at 10pm on the night of 7th. District Council counts will take place on the afternoon of 8th and town and parish council counts on 9th. If you are interested in getting involved in any of these counts please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone the phone number above.
As ever please feel free to contact me on any matter at the House of Commons, SW1A 0AA, 020 7219 6350 or email@example.com. Email is the quickest and most reliable way to get in touch, as I keep a very close eye on my emails and can reply very quickly. I also send out occasional general interest emails about developments in the Wantage and Didcot Constituency. If you would like to be added to the distribution list, please do email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up at www.vaizey.com. Surgery details can be found at www.vaizey.com