Successful canvassing last year raised the proportion of registered voters in Thanet to 86.6%.
Electoral Registration Officer Sue McGonigal said: “It is really important that the residents of Thanet are able to take part in choosing who makes decisions both locally and on a wider scale. For this, the annual registration of voters is essential.
“In previous years registrations in Thanet stood at only 80% of those eligible. We therefore set up a group to look at ways of improving registration, in particular to see how other parts of Kent managed to achieve higher registration figures.
In February 2012 a Scrutiny group recommended a change of approach to undertaking the canvass, and the need for £20,000 extra funding to address this, which I was happy to support.”
For the annual canvass the new method used an initial postal request followed by door to door canvassing of non-respondents.
In the end 6,053 forms were obtained by canvassers knocking on doors – almost 10% of the total returns!
Sue McGonigal added: “Although this is a great and welcome improvement there is still room for increasing the percentage further, so we shall be renewing our efforts at the next round of canvassing in November. However I would like to stress that registration is a legal requirement and we would rather save the money we spend chasing replies in order to use it on delivering front line services. So we do need everyone’s help here as well!”