Register to vote
What is the Electoral register?
The electoral register is a list of everyone entitled to vote. It is important that you register to ensure you get to vote in elections.
It is an offence not to supply the information required, or to give false information. The maximum fine is £1000.
You can only vote in elections if your name is on the register of electors for your area.
The way we all register to vote has changed
The registration system changed in June 2014. The new system is called 'Individual Electoral Registration' (IER).
How is the new system different?
- You can now register online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
- Everyone is responsible for registering themselves. Under the old system the 'head of every household' could register everyone who lived at their address.
- You need to provide a few more details to register - including your national insurance number and date of birth. This makes the electoral register more secure.
This change allows people to take individual responsibility for their vote. It means that people will be required to register to vote individually, replacing the existing outdated system where a head of household submits and application for registration.
How do I register under the new system?
- Go to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
- Fill in your name, address, date of birth. 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.
- Look out for a letter, letters will be dispatched around 4 August 2014.
Do I need to do anything?
We are writing to residents to tell them about the change. You could be one of those who need to re-register so it's important that you look out for a letter around the week commencing 4 August.
Respond to the letter if you are asked to.
The letter will tell you whether you are on the new register or whether you need to take action. It will tell you what to do.
If you received a letter confirming you are registered under the new system you do not need to do anything.
However, you may need to register under the new system if:
- You received a letter telling you that you needed to re-register, or
- You have changed address since you received a confirmation that you were registered, or
- You did not receive a letter.
To find out more go to www.gov.uk/yourvotematters
Opting out of the Open Register
We 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.
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.
I've moved house / want to register
From 10 June you can apply online. You will need your national insurance number and date of birth to register. The website you need to go to is: www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
If you don't have access to the internet please call the Elections Office 01200 414411.
Please note, completing your registration online does not confirm that you are on the register. You will receive a confirmation letter from us, or we will be in touch if we need any further information.
Why is the system changing?
Individual Electoral Registration encourages people to take responsibility for their own vote.
The change will allow more convenient ways to register as you can now apply online. Under the new system, people need to provide a few more details about themselves to register - these are national insurance number and date of birth. These details are checked against government records to verify a persons identity. This is intended to make the system more secure.
For more information about the changes see Individual Electoral Registration frequently asked questions.