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  4. Register to vote

Register to vote

Voters are now required to show photographic identity in the polling stations, further information can be found at

If you are not on the electoral register or you have recently moved and you haven't registered you cannot vote, even if you are registered to pay council tax (this is an entirely separate process). Not being registered can also affect your credit rating.

Apply to register online

This is the simplest and fastest way to register.

Register to vote

Please note that applications are individual and you will need to include your national insurance number and date of birth as part of your application. If you cannot provide them, please state the reason why.

Your application will be acknowledged and if your application is successful we will tell you when you will be added to the register.

If you cannot make an online application, email for an application form or call 01594 812638.

Ways to vote

In person

You can vote in person at the polling station. You will be sent a poll card just before an election telling you where your polling station is. Don’t forget to bring a suitable form of photographic ID. A list of acceptable ID will be on your poll card or more information can be found here:  

By post

Anyone who is registered to vote can ask for a postal vote. Then your ballot paper will be posted to you to fill in and return.

Apply to vote by post

If you cannot complete an online application, email for an application form or call 01594 812638.

Applications may be made at any time, but must be received no later than 5pm on the 11th working day before a particular election day.

By proxy

It is possible to let someone else vote for you. This is called a "proxy vote". The person you choose must vote for the candidate you want.

To appoint a proxy for a particular election you can apply online:

Apply to vote by proxy

Emergency proxy vote

In certain circumstances, where you have an emergency that means you can't vote in person, you can apply for an emergency proxy.

This must be something that you weren't aware of before the normal proxy vote deadline:

These applications can be made up to 5pm on polling day.

For further advice on electoral registration and postal or proxy voting, or to request an application form to be sent to you, email or call 01594 812638.

Service voters and British Citizens living overseas

You can also register online as a service voter or as a British Citizen living overseas. More information is available on the electoral commission website.

Students studying away from home

Students are entitled to register at both their home and their university address. Find out more on the student section of the electoral commission website.

Your personal details

The Electoral Registration Officer keeps two registers, the electoral register and the open register (also known as the edited register). When you register, you will be asked if you want to be included or excluded from the open register.

The electoral register

This 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.
It is also used for other limited purposes specified in law, such as:

  • detecting crime (e.g. fraud)
  • calling people for Jury Service
  • checking credit applications

The open register

This 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.

General information about registering to vote: