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
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. 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.
If you are in the Armed Forces, or a spouse or partner of someone who is, you can register as a service voter or as a British Citizen living overseas. Find out more from the Electoral Commission.
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.
- Apply for a proxy vote: you can nominate someone else to make your vote for you.
- 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.
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.
The annual electoral canvass
The annual canvass is carried out each year, starting in August but it is NOT a voter registration form. We send a compulsory ‘household enquiry form’ to every property in West Oxfordshire to check the information we hold, and to find out who needs to be added to, or removed from, the Register of Electors. You need to confirm your details every year, even if they haven't changed. The form lists everyone currently registered to vote at the property, giving you the opportunity to add any new names or remove or amend any out of date information.
What you need to do
It's a legal requirement to respond to this form and you need to reply each year as this confirms who is living at your address. We'll ask you to:
- Confirm that the details of those living at your address and registered to vote are correct
- Add anyone new (including anyone aged 16 or 17)
- Delete anyone no longer in the household
If you do not reply, we have to send you multiple reminders, which costs a significant amount of taxpayers money.
What happens next
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.
- General enquiry online form
- Call 01993 861410