Two more fined over electoral registerBy Laura Herbert
July 19, 2012
Two more people have been prosecuted for not completing and returning their annual canvass forms for last year’s Register of Electors.
James Bowers, of Falcon Avenue in Shinfield, and Lee Kjolsen, of Pound Green in Grazeley, were convicted in their absence at Reading Magistrates Court on Tuesday, July 10.
Both were fined £300, costs of £260 and a victim surcharge of £15.
Alison Wood, electoral services manager for Wokingham Borough Council, said: “This is the first year we have prosecuted canvass non-responders and we have done so very reluctantly. These cases were both persistent offenders and it takes time and money for us to take the steps, which are required by law, in order to get a completed form.
“It is a civic duty as well as a legal requirement to complete the form.
“The Register of Electors is used to call people for jury service as well as checking identity to prevent credit fraud and, in some cases, for crime prevention and detection.
“However, it is important to remember that these people were not prosecuted for refusing to vote, as it is not mandatory in this country.
“Canvass forms were sent to all Wokingham Borough residents at the end of June and they are urged to return them as soon as possible.
“Households not returning the forms by August 27 will receive a visit from a personal canvasser, the cost of which ultimately comes out of the public purse.”
Last month Johnny Burne, of Kingfisher Drive in Woodley, and Tay Maddams, of Martineau Lane in Hurst, became the first people in the borough to be prosecuted for the offence.
Burne was fined and ordered to pay costs totalling £595, while Maddams was ordered to pay £290, including a fine and court costs.