Do not assume that you are registered to vote because you pay council tax at your home, or that you have told council tax that you have moved. You are not automatically registered.
How do I get my name on the electoral register?
The UK government have introduced a new system for registering to vote called Individual Electoral Registration. Each member of the household is now responsible for registering themselves instead of one person in the household being responsible for doing it, as was previously the case.
If you have recently moved, or are not currently registered, you will need to register under the new system. You can register quickly and easily on line at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. You can register throughout the year.
If you require a paper copy, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01492 576051/2.
You will require your date of birth and national insurance number. If you cannot find your national insurance number you can use the HMRC enquiry service at www.gov.uk/lost-national-insurance-number, or ring 0300 200 3502.
If your name, date of birth or national insurance number are not verified (matched) after you have applied to register, we will contact you asking for further documentary evidence, such as a copy of your passport or photo drivers licence.
Information about the national changes to the way you register to vote can be found on www.gov.uk/yourvotematters
Who can register?
You can register to vote if you are:
- aged 16 or over (but you cannot vote until you are 18) AND
- a British citizen OR
- an Irish, Commonwealth or European Union citizen living in the UK
Under current legislation, marriage to a British citizen or a grant of permanent residence in the UK does not give you British citizenship, and does not give you the right to register to vote in UK elections.
The electoral register and the open register
The Electoral Registration Officer creates and keeps 2 versions of the register:
- The electoral register: The electoral register shows the names of everyone who can vote in public elections. The full register is used only for elections and for limited purposes specified in law such as preventing and detecting crime and checking applications for credit.
- The open register: The register includes the names and addresses of everyone who has not asked to be excluded from this version of the register. Anyone can buy a copy of the open register, and it can be used for any purpose, e.g. commercial activities such as marketing. Removing your details from the open register does not affect your right to vote.
You can choose whether you are included on the open register when you register to vote. If you are already registered and you would like to remove your details from the open register, please fill in the opt-out form.
The personal data in the both versions of the register must always be processed in line with data-protection legislation.
I’m in the Armed Forces – how do I register?
Information is available on the http://www.aboutmyvote.co.uk/register-to-vote/armed-forces website.
I have two homes. Where should I register to vote?
It is legal to register at both properties so long as you have a genuine residential qualification at both. It is the Electoral Commission’s view that owning a second property which is visited only for recreational purposes is unlikely to meet the residency qualification. Owning and paying council tax on a property alone is not sufficient to satisfy the residence qualification either. If you choose to register at both properties, you should bear in mind that it is an offence to vote twice in the same election. For example, if you register at a property in Conwy and a property in another County, and there are Local Authority elections in both areas on the same day, you can vote in both elections. However, if you were to vote in both Constituencies at a Parliamentary election, this would be an offence.
I’m a Crown Servant, British Council employee, posted overseas – can I register to vote?
Crown Servants and British Council employees posted overseas can vote in all elections and therefore need to register. More information is available on the http://www.aboutmyvote.co.uk/frequently-asked-questions/registering-to-vote website.
I’m a student – where should I register?
Students can register at both their home address and their university address. It is an offence to vote more than once in a national election but you can vote in local elections at both of your addresses, e.g. to choose a local councillor, as long as they are not in the same electoral area.
I live overseas, can I still vote in the UK?
If you are a British citizen and you are living or working abroad, you may be eligible to vote at Parliamentary elections and European Parliamentary elections from your last registered address. To be eligible to register as an overseas voter the applicant must have been registered in the UK within a 15 year period.
Once registered as an overseas elector, you will be able to vote by post or proxy for all Parliamentary and European Parliamentary elections.
You can register as an overseas elector if:
- you are a British Citizen living outside the United Kingdom
- your name was previously on the electoral register for an address within the county.
- there is no more than 15 years between the qualifying date for the registration and the date of the application.
More information is available on the http://www.aboutmyvote.co.uk/register-to-vote/british-citizens-living-abroad website.