More than 45,000 Sheffield voters have still not registered for the ‘most important election in a generation’, The Star can reveal today.
Census figures show there are 439,387 people aged over 18 in Sheffield and around 394,000 adults are now on the electoral register – meaning 45,387, or around 10 per cent, have not signed up to vote. Today general election candidates across the political spectrum in Sheffield united to urge residents to register before Monday, April 20, deadline.
“There’s an enormous amount at stake in this election,” said Paul Blomfield, who is defending Sheffield Central for Labour.
“The country and city is going to be very different depending on how people vote – so it is important and will make a difference.”
Ian Walker, Conservative candidate in Sheffield Hallam, said: “Don’t lose your democratic right to vote, make sure you are registered so you can back the party whose policies you think are the right ones.
“This election is going to be one of the most important in a generation.”
Nick Clegg, who is defending Sheffield Hallam for the Liberal Democrats, said: “Voting is really important. If you want to have a say in how the country is run, then the general election is your chance. It’s your chance to vote for the country you want to see.
“I’d encourage everyone to register to vote before the deadline.”
The number of people not registered is bigger than the total of votes cast in the constituency of Sheffield South East in 2010 – 41,408.
Green candidate Jillian Creasy, who is standing in Sheffield Central, said it was ‘great’ figures were being highlighted to encourage more people to register and it took only ‘minutes’ to sign up online.
She added: “In 2010 there was the scandal where people couldn’t get into polling stations, the doors were closed at 10pm with queues outside, and it would be a tragedy if this time people turned up and realised they weren’t registered to vote.
“This is their chance to make sure that doesn’t happen.” John Booker, Ukip candidate for Brightside and Hillsborough, added: “We do encourage people to vote, and when some have said they won’t vote for us but are not registered, we still give them a form so they can sign up.
“Everyone should vote.”
This year a new system has been introduced which means every individual is responsible for registering themselves.
The Electoral Commission has said one million people have registered online nationwide in just three weeks.
n To register online visit www.sheffield.gov.uk/vote or contact the electoral registration office on 0114 273 4093.
Residents can also check if they are registered at Sheffield Town Hall, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0114 273 4093.