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  1. Home
  2. About the Council
  3. Elections and voting
  4. Register to vote

Register to vote

It is quick and easy to register online. It is helpful, but not essential, to have your National Insurance number to hand.

Register to vote

If you are not on the electoral register you cannot vote. Not even if you are registered to pay council tax as this is an entirely separate process. Not being registered can also affect your credit rating.

Check if you are registered to vote

Registration deadlines

You can register to vote or apply for a postal or proxy vote at any time. However, when an election or referendum is pending, there are deadlines. For the elections on Thursday 6 May 2021 the last day for making a registration application is Monday 19 April. 

Even if you have missed a deadline, we recommend registering so your details are correct for any future elections, and because it can help your credit status.

Voting by post or proxy

If you cannot make it to the polling station on election day you can:

  • Apply for a postal vote: your ballot paper will be posted to you to fill in and return. For the elections on Thursday 6 May 2021 we must receive
    your application by no later than 5 pm on Tuesday 20 April. See
    Postal Voting application for 6 May.
  • Apply for a proxy vote: you can nominate someone else to make your vote for you. For the elections on Thursday 6 May 2021 we must
    receive your application by no later than 5 pm on Tuesday 27 April.
    See Proxy Voting application for 6 May. 
  • Apply for an emergency proxy vote: if you have an emergency that means you can no longer go to the polling station in person e.g. medical or work reasons. This is relevant only to emergencies which occur after the ordinary deadline for a proxy application, and for the
    6 May 2021 elections applications must be received by 5 pm on
    Thursday 6 May.

The above are the final deadlines, but it is in your interest to apply as soon as
you can.

The electoral register and your personal details

Using the information you provide, our registration officers keep two registers:

The electoral register

This lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote and is used for electoral purposes, and other limited purposes specified in law, such as detecting crime (e.g. fraud), calling people for Jury Service or 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 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.

We use the information you give us to create a new electoral register each year which we publish in December. Any new residents added to your form still need to apply to register to vote and we will contact them.

Once you’ve registered to vote you don’t need to register again unless you change address. You should also inform us if any of your details change such as your name if you marry, or get divorced.

Not being registered to vote can impact on applications for mortgages or mobile phones, since credit reference agencies use the register to validate applications.

More information is available from the Electoral Commission.

Contact us