Register to vote, postal and proxy voting

On this page you can find out about:

  • registering to vote;
  • the new voter registration system;
  • being an existing voter and the transition to IER;
  • postal and proxy voting

If you cannot find the answer on this page please have a look at the frequently asked questions (303.3 KB) PDF .

Registering to vote

A quick way to register to vote is online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Alternatively, you can register to vote by completing a paper form, which you will find on www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.

You will need to enter your national insurance number as you register and you will also need to enter your date of birth. 

To vote in any election you must have registered to vote by midnight on the 12th working day before the election takes place.

The following table sets out when an application to go onto the register becomes effective.

Application received

Date amendment takes effect

 By Thursday 10 July 2014

 Friday 1 August 2014

 By Friday 8 August 2014

 Monday 1 September 2014

In the period Saturday 9 August to Friday 21 November 2014

 Monday 1 December 2014

 By Thursday 11 December 2014

 Friday 2 January 2015

The new voter registration system

From 10 June 2014, the UK has Individual Voter Registration (IER), a new way of registering to vote.

Until then, all eligible voters within one household registered using a single form. The introduction of IER means individuals are now responsible for their own registration.

Although you will have to register individually, you can for the first time complete the entire registration process online, making registering to vote much more accessible and convenient. 

Existing voters and the transition to IER

The transition will begin by confirming existing electors whose names are already on the electoral register. This means the majority of people, whose circumstances remain unchanged since the electoral canvass this year, will not need to do anything.

In cases where people cannot be confirmed we will write to invite them to register individually. When someone registers individually, in addition to confirming their name and addresses, they will also be required to provide their date of birth and national insurance number to verify their identity.

Postal and proxy voting

If you can't get to a polling station you can apply for a postal or proxy vote. Proxy voting is when you nominate someone else to vote on your behalf.

You can apply for a postal vote:

  • for a single election, for a specified period or permanently;
  • at any time until 5pm 11 working days before an election provided you do not already have any absent voting arrangements in place;
  • at any time (provided you are on the electoral register) - you don’t have to wait for the announcement of an election to apply to vote by post.

The deadline for making changes to, or cancelling, existing arrangements is also 11 working days before an election.

If you need help filling in your form please phone 01235 540310. Please send completed postal and proxy vote forms to the address above.

Last reviewed: 14 - 08 - 2014

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