A MORI poll in April found more than 80% of respondents did not know how often elections were held in their area. It also found less than 20% could identify which councils were due to hold elections in May this year.
Currently, although councillors serve four-year terms, people go to the polls between one and four times in each electoral cycle, depending on where they live.
Electoral commissioner Pamela Gordon said: ?This clearly has some significant implications for local democracy. The government has asked us to look at this very important issue, and we hope to benefit from the views and expertise of all those involved in local government elections.?
The commission will report before the end of January 2004.