2003 Opinion Poll

Some of you will remember receiving a postal ballot form in the post back in December 2003.

The ballot was to determine if Letchworth residents wanted a new Town Council.

However, many of you will not remember receiving a ballot form. This is because not all residents were sent one. In fact, only 70% of residents were sent ballot forms. Not only that, but the remaining 30% were the people most likely to have voted against the introduction of a new Council.

How could this have occurred?

It's all about the Electoral Registers. There are two Registers: firstly the Full Electoral Register, which is used for electoral purposes only; secondly there is the Edited Register, which is available for anyone to purchase (for junk mailing, for example).

Which register are you on?

Before each election event, you get sent a Electoral Registration form which you check and send back. Everyone who is listed on that form will be on the Full Electoral Register. However, this form also contains a tick box for being removed from the Edited Register. Most people who think about it and realise what the Edited Register is used for will tick the box to be removed from it.

Which Register was used for the 2003 Opinion Poll?

They used the Edited Register.

From the Comet Newspaper article below you can see that although 62% of the votes were in favour of a Town Council, that represents only 21% of residents. Even this meagre popularity had plummeted by the 2005 Elections.

Comet Dec 2003 Referendum Results