Registering to vote

Our electoral services office maintains the register of electors and organises all elections within the district.

This includes the election of:

  • parish and town councillors
  • district ward councillors
  • county councillors
  • members of parliament (MPs)
  • referendums

Individual Electoral Registration

In 2014, the way in which you register to vote changed. The government introduced Individual Electoral Registration (IER) across the country. Under IER, everyone in the household who is eligible to vote is responsible for registering themselves. The new process is quicker, more convenient and makes the electoral register more secure.

How to register to vote?

If you’re not registered to vote, have moved address or changed your name, you can apply to register to vote online. You’ll need to provide your name, address, date of birth, your National Insurance number and a few other details. If you’re not sure whether you’re already registered, or cannot register online, please contact us. 

You can find more information about registering to vote at your vote matters.

Why should you register to vote?

If you do not register, you will not be able to vote at any election. Don’t lose your right to vote.

Being on the register is also proof of your identity and is often used by credit reference agencies and mortgage companies. These companies check the register when people apply for credit, in order to counteract fraud. Not only will you be unable to have a say at future elections, but if you don’t respond to requests for information from us, you could be at risk of getting fined £80.

Who is eligible to be registered?

If you are over the age of 18 or will soon be 18, a British, Irish, Commonwealth citizen or a citizen of a member state of the European Union (PDF File, 69kb) and a resident of the district at least six months of the year, you are eligible to be on the register of electors. When you register you will be asked to state your nationality.

If you’re a European Union citizen you can only vote in local government elections.

Students can register to vote at both their term-time and home address.

If you’ve recently moved home, you need to register at your new address to be able to vote. You don’t automatically get registered at your new address when you move house.


What is the register of electors?

The register of electors is a list of everyone in the district who is eligible to vote. You can only vote in elections if your name appears in the register.

The open register

Using information received from the public, registration officers keep two registers:

  • the electoral register
  • the open register (also known as the edited register)

The electoral register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in public elections. The register is used for electoral purposes, such as:

  • detecting crime (eg. fraud)
  • calling people for jury service
  • checking credit applications

The open register is an extract of the electoral register that can be bought by any person, company or organisation. For example, it is used by businesses and charities 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. You can find more information about the electoral and open registers and how they may be used on the government website.

To opt out of the open register, contact us at the council or email

Please confirm the name of any electors that wish to opt out and their full address. We’ll update the voter registration and it will be effective from the next monthly update made to the register.

Your personal information

We’ll only use the information you give us for electoral purposes. We’ll look after personal information securely and follow the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) 2018. We will not give personal information about you and the other people in your household to anyone else or to another organisation unless we have to do so by law.

Registering to vote privacy notice.