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Thousands of city residents have lost the chance to vote
MORE than 10,000 people will be unable to vote in Oxford today after failing to register with election bosses.
Voters go to the polls today for 25 out of 48 seats on Oxford City Council and for the European Parliament.
But about one in 10 electors failed to register with the city council by the Tuesday, May 6, deadline.
The 2011 census recorded 123,525 people aged 18 and over in Oxford but only 112,045 are registered to vote by the deadline.
Elections are also being held for Cherwell and West Oxfordshire district councils.
Cherwell, which covers North Oxfordshire, had 109,881 people of voting age in 2011 and 106,032 are registered to vote in the 17 out of 50 seats up for grabs.
In West Oxfordshire, where 17 of the 49 seats are up for election, 79,555 voters have registered out of a possible 82,782.
Jeremy Thomas, the city council’s returning officer, said: “The annual canvass involves the multiple delivery of forms and personal visits to properties for which no form has been returned. The large number of students and people moving into and out of the city makes the canvass particularly challenging.”
But he added: “However, our registration rate is 96 per cent, against a national average of 92 per cent.”
Cherwell District Council’s returning officer Sue Smith said: “We have noticed a significant increase in the number of people who have registered to vote this year.”
She added: “Not only does their inclusion on the electoral register give them the right to take part in this year’s elections, it will also form the basis of future credit checks for mortgages, mobile phone contracts and credit card applications which can be refused if residents have failed to register.”
Most voters register – by phone, online or by returning a form, during the annual canvass when district and city councils send registration forms to every household.
Residents can, however, register at any time at the Electoral Commission website – aboutmyvote.co.uk British, Commonwealth and EU citizens living in the UK can all vote in local elections, but prisoners and those found guilty of breaking election law in the last five years cannot vote.
In Oxford’s last elections in 2012, turnout was 29 per cent while in West Oxfordshire it was 34 per cent and in Cherwell 42 per cent.
To get all the election results, updated as they are announced, see our website, oxfordmail.co.uk
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