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.
Registering to vote
A quick way to register to vote is online at 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.
Alternatively, you can register to vote by completing a paper form, which you will find on www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.
To vote in any election you must have registered to vote by midnight the on the 12th working day before the election takes place.
Applications and amendment requests received:
- by 10 July will take effect by 1 August
- by 8 August will take effect by 1 September
- between 9 August to 21 November will take effect by 1 December
- by 11 December will take effect by 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 individual registration
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 cannot get to a polling station you can apply for a postal vote or a proxy vote. Proxy voting is when you nominate someone else to vote on your behalf. You can download a form to apply for a postal or a proxy vote.
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.
Please send your completed application form/s to the Electoral Registration Officer, using the details in the 'contact us' section of this page.
Last reviewed: 19 - 08 - 2014