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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. Please 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.

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 which will be published here when necessary.

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.
  • Apply for a proxy vote: A proxy application form will be made available here for future elections. If you wish to make a long term proxy appointment for health, employment or service reasons please contact Electoral Services for advice.
  • Apply for an emergency proxy vote:If you are taken ill or get unexpected work commitments after the deadline for applying for a proxy vote which prevents you from attending the polling station on polling day, you can appoint a proxy to vote for you. You will need a doctor or employer to support your application. Please click on the appropriate link for your circumstance to download a form.
  • Apply for an emergency proxy vote for covid-19 reasons: if you or someone you have already appointed to act as your proxy can no longer go to the polling station in person because of having to self-isolate as a result of government medical guidance you can apply for an emergency proxy which does not require to be supported by a doctor.

It is in your interest to apply as soon as you can. We must receive your emergency proxy vote application by 5pm on polling day. Please do not deliver your application to your polling station on polling day, as polling station staff cannot process emergency proxy vote applications.

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