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Your voting rights depend on that letter

An important piece of paperwork will be dropping through all 29,500 residential letterboxes in the borough from this week. Please don't put it behind that pretty ornament on the mantelpiece and forget about it. It will be the key to every eligible person at your address being able to have their say in forthcoming elections and referendums.

The monumental task for issuing and processing the 29,500 documents will be handled by Boston Borough Council's electoral services team.

At the very least you will only have to confirm, by going on-line, a quick phone call or by returning the form, that the information on the form about those who are eligible to vote is correct. This will mean that, come the next election, those who are able to vote will be allowed to do so. Do nothing and you risk those who could otherwise have a vote being denied the opportunity to have their say, and possibly encountering difficulties when applying for credit, a mortgage or even a mobile phone contract, as the register is also used by the credit referencing agencies for proof of address purposes.

Any changes must be reported, such as a younger member of the household coming of voting age, or new people at the address.

Responding to the canvass forms is a legal requirement.

The electoral services staff are responsible for maintaining the register throughout the year, and in the run up to the EU referendum the Boston team of fewer than two full-time equivalent staff processed 2,084 registrations to vote between May 30 and the June 9 deadline.

Applications to go on the electoral register can be made anytime online by going to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote It takes about five minutes, applicants will need to provide their personal details of name, address, nationality, date of birth and national insurance number.

Once the application  has been verified by the Government it passes to the council for the individuals to be added to the register. This will ensure that they receive a polling card for any future election or referendum that they are eligible to vote in.

If the applicant cannot be verified the case will be passed to the Boston team to check and gather necessary information to confirm the identity of the applicant such as a copy of their passport or photo driving licence.  Once verified that individual can be added to the register.

Residents from the EU with an address in the borough can also register. Subject to verification this will enable them to vote in parish, borough and county and police and crime commissioner elections - but not in Parliamentary elections unless they have become British citizens.

Don't delay, respond on-line or by telephone, or make any necessary amendments on the form and return it in the pre-paid postage envelope sent with the form, you won't then receive further reminders or electoral canvassers calling at your property to collect the information.