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More signing up to use their vote

Latest indications are that there is a growing appetite in Boston to vote. Responses to the current canvass to encourage people to confirm or update their details on the electoral register returned a first-time record of more than 60 per cent of all those eligible.

It is a legal requirement to respond to the hand-delivered registration form. Often all that is required is confirmation that there have been no changes at the address, and all listed on the form remain eligible to vote or have had their 16th birthday. But there is opportunity to notify any changes, including those who have turned 16 or are aged 16 or over and have moved to the property.

Responses can be made by returning the form in the post-paid addressed envelope which accompanies it, by phone or by the internet.

Those who do not initially respond - and in Boston borough more than 60 per cent responded immediately - will receive a personal follow-up visit, which are being conducted now. Where necessary there will be a third and final reminder visit in October.

Lorraine Bush, Boston Borough Council's democratic services manager, who oversees the registration operation, said: "A first-time response rate of more than 60 per cent is a new record. And growing numbers are responding via the internet and by phone - it is a quick and simple process."

She explained that besides the main aim of securing a right to vote in elections at parish, district, county and national level, credit referencing agencies use voter registration as proof of identity. Those whose details do not appear on the register, also known as the electoral role, may face difficulty in securing a mortgage, other finance or a mobile phone contract. By not responding to the registration form they will also be committing an offence punishable by an £80 fine.