Electoral Registration Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

  • How do I register to vote?
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    You can register online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. You will need to supply your National Insurance Number and Date of Birth. Please can you also supply a telephone number and e-mail address in case we need to contact you about your application.

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  • How do I opt out of the open register?
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    You can change your open register choice at any time by making a request with your full name, address and telling us that you want to be removed from the open register. You can do this in writing, by e-mail or over the phone. We will write to you to confirm any change. Each elector must make their own choice so you cannot do this for someone else e.g. family member.

  • Why do I need to register to vote?
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    You can only vote in an election or any referendum if you are included in the current Register of Electors. You may also have a reduced credit reference rating or problems obtaining credit if not registered.

  • What about Council Tax ?
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    The Register of Electors is maintained separately from the Council Tax liability file. They are separate lists containing information maintained for different purposes and notifying any council service including Finance for council tax liability will not add or change your details in the Register of Electors

  • When should I register ?
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    As soon as possible after any change of address or when issued with a form by the ERO. You can apply online at www.gov.uk/register to vote. Anyone who is not registered or who will be 16 by 30 November 2018 should apply to register now.

  • Can I register online?
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  • How long does it take to get registered?
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    A statutory timetable dictates when names are added, deleted or changed throughout the year. Click here for more information Getting added to the Register

  • Who are eligible electors?
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    All British, Irish & European Union citizens over 14 years old resident at the address. Commonwealth citizens with the right to remain in the UK can also register. Electors currently can vote when they become 18 in UK & Parliamentary Elections but can vote when they become 16 in Scottish Parliamentary and Scottish Local  Government Elections.

  • I am a student, do I register?
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    Students can register to vote at both their term time address and home address so that they have the option of voting in any election held in respect of either address. It is a criminal offence to vote more than once in any election

  • I am a European Union citizen, what elections can I vote in?
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    European Union citizens can vote in all local government elections and Scottish Parliament elections if they apply to register to vote. To vote in a European Parliament election an additional form is also required to be completed (only relevant in European Parliament election year). The form is available to download from forms on the website. EU citizens cannot vote in UK Parliament elections or a referendum based on the UK voting franchise.

  • What if I change my name?
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    Forms are available on request or you can register again online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

  • I only have a short term lease, do I register?
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    If the address for the period of your lease is your only or main residence then you should register here. If you have another address that you consider your main residence and at which you carry on the business of life you can register at that address but should notify the ERO (Electoral Registration Officer) of this other address in order that he knows why no-one is registered here. NB It is a legal requirement to respond to a request for information from the ERO

  • Where can I check if I am registered to vote?
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    The Register of Electors is available to view under supervision in the office of the ERO. The next Register will be published on 1 December 2017, but there are monthly updates to the current Register – Click link for more information Register Reviewing Locations

  • Can I get a copy of my entry?
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    A form to request your details from the current register or previous registers is available on request. A charge is made for this – £15 per name per year requested, payable in advance of any search

  • I own another address, what are my obligations?
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    The ERO can require anyone who has information on potential electors at properties in his area to supply information he needs to maintain the Register of Electors. This includes occupiers, tenants, owners and agents. Full names of occupiers, their nationality and previous addresses may be requested for this purpose especially from landlords so that the ERO knows who is resident at any address in his area. The information can only be used for registration purposes

  • What is the Open Register ?
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    • The open register is an extract of the electoral register, but is not used for elections. It can be bought by any person, company or organisation. For example, it is used by businesses and charities to confirm name and address details.
    • Your name and address will be included in the open register unless you ask for them to be removed. Removing your details from the open register does not affect your right to vote.
  • What is the Register of Electors used for?
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    For showing who is entitled to vote in an election or referendum. For electoral purposes by political parties and candidates. Identifying people eligible for jury duty. Credit Reference Companies can purchase the register for checking credit applications. For detection of fraud and for law enforcement purposes. Anyone can look at the Register of Electors and can take hand written notes. It is a criminal offence to supply copies or use information from the Register for purposes other than set down in law.

  • Can I search the Register?
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    The Register of Electors is not published on-line and a name search is not permitted. You can personally view the Register, under supervision, in my office and take hand written notes.

  • I’m moving, will I be registered at my new address?
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    No. You need to apply to register to vote at your new UK address. You can do this at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

    About My Vote
  • Can Credit Reference companies use the Register?
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    Credit Reference companies are entitled to buy the Register of Electors and the ERO must sell them copies if requested to do so. They can only use it for checking credit applications and to detect fraud and money laundering