The way we all register to vote has changed
The voter registration system changed in June 2014 (England & Wales). The new system is called ‘Individual Electoral Registration’.
How is the new system different?
- You can now register securely online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
- There is no need to complete a paper form.
- Everyone is responsible for registering themselves. Under the old system the ‘head of every household’ could register everyone who lived at their address.
- You now provide a few more details – these are your national insurance number and date of birth. This makes the electoral register more secure.
How do I register under the new system?
- Registering is simple. Go to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
- Fill in your name, address, date of birth and a few other details. You’ll also need your national insurance number, which can be found on your national insurance card, or in official paperwork such as payslips, or letters about benefits or tax credits.
- Look out for a confirmation to say you’re registered.
I’m already Registered to vote - Will I need to do anything?
- If you receive confirmation from us that you are individually registered you will not need to do anything else.
- If you receive a letter requesting additional information or documentary evidence you will need to respond to this in order to complete your individual registration.
To find out more go to www.gov.uk/yourvotematters
Why Should I Register to Vote?
Registration is required by law. You can only vote if your name is included on the Register of Electors.
Credit referencing agencies use the Register when assessing credit worthiness. People who are not on the Register often experience difficulties opening bank accounts, getting credit, a loan or a mortgage.
To check whether your name is already on the register, please contact the Electoral Services office on 01444 477003 or email email@example.com.
To qualify for registration as a UK elector and vote in all elections you must be
- A citizen of Great Britain, Ireland or a Commonwealth country
- Aged 18 or over
In addition, if you are a citizen of a European Union member state you may register to vote in local elections, though you will not be eligible to vote in UK Parliamentary elections.
If you are moving home into the district, or within the district please contact us to change your details. If you are moving to a different local authority please contact your new council regarding your change of address. They will inform you once you have registered with them.
How do I change my name on the electoral register?
Please complete the Change of Name form, we will also require a form of evidence to accompany your application such as deed poll or marriage certificate. You can scan the completed form and the supporting evidence to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Revised Register of Electors is published annually on 1st December, and updated on a monthly basis between 1st January and 1st September.
The Annual Canvass
Each year we carry out an annual canvass of all properties in the District. We send a voter registration form to all residential properties and you are required by law to return this form in order to remain on the register, even if you recently completed a form.
There are two registers. Why?
Using information received from the public, registration officers keep two registers - the electoral register and the open register (also known as the edited register).
The electoral register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in public elections. The register is used for electoral purposes - such as making sure only eligible people can vote - and for other limited purposes specified in law. The personal data in the register must always be processed in line with data-protection legislation.
Who uses the electoral register?
- Election staff, political parties, candidates and holders of elected office use the register for electoral purposes.
- Your local council and the British Library hold copies that anyone may look at under supervision. A copy is also held by the Electoral Commission, the Boundary Commissions (which set constituency boundaries for most elections) and the Office for National Statistics.
- The council can use the register for duties relating to security, enforcing the law and preventing crime. The police and the security services can also use it for law enforcement.
- The register is used when calling people for jury service.
- Government departments may buy the register from local registration officers and use it to help prevent and detect crime. They can also use it to safeguard national security by checking the background of job applicants and employees.
- Credit reference agencies can buy the register. They help other organisations to check the names and addresses of people applying for credit. They also use it to carry out identity checks when trying to prevent and detect money laundering.
It is a criminal offence for anyone to supply or use the register for anything else.
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. The personal data in the register must always be processed in line with data protection legislation.
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 will not affect your right to vote or your credit score.
Who uses the open register?
Users of the open register include:
- Businesses checking the identity and address details of people who apply for their services such as insurance, goods hire and property rental, as well as when they shop online;
- Businesses selling age-restricted goods or services, such as alcohol and gambling online, to meet the rules on verifying the age of their customers;
- Charities and voluntary agencies, for example to help maintain contact information for those who have chosen to donate bone marrow and to help people separated by adoption to find each other;
- Charities, to help with fundraising and contacting people who have made donations;
- Debt collection agencies when tracing people who have changed addresses without telling their creditors;
- Direct marketing firms when maintaining their mailing lists;
- Landlords and letting agents when checking the identity of potential tenants; ·
- Local councils when identifying and contacting residents;
- Online directory firms to help users of the websites find people, such as when reuniting friend and families;
- Organisations tracing and identifying beneficiaries of wills, pensions and insurance policies;
- Private sector firms to verify details of job applicants.
Your personal information
We will only use the information you give us for electoral purposes. We will look after personal information securely and we will follow the Data Protection Act 1998. We will not give personal information about you and the other people in your household to anyone else or another organisation unless we have to by law.
Who Has My Personal Details - Information from the Electoral Commission
For further information contact:
Tel: 01444 477003