The preparation of the Register of Electors is the basis for enabling Parliamentary, Police Crime Commissioner any Referendums and Local Government elections to take place.
The annual canvass for the Register of Electors normally takes place each year during August and December. A Household Enquiry Form is sent to every property.
In order to be included in the Register a person must:
(a) be resident at a qualifying address in the area;
(b) state their nationality and be a British or other Commonwealth Citizen, a Citizen of the Republic of Ireland, or a Member State of the European Union (see list attached at the end of this page)
(c) not subject to any legal incapacity to vote (age apart)
(d) be aged 18 years or over by 30th November each year
(e) or have made a Service Declaration, Declaration of Local Connection or Overseas Declaration
Once the form is received, householders must respond as soon as possible to confirm or change their details. Reminder forms will be sent during early September where no response has been received. However, it is inevitable that some will cross in the post.
Registering to Vote is changing:
Registering to vote is now a two stage process, in response to the Household Enquiry Form which will inform us who is eligible to be registered, we will in turn send each individual an Invitation to Register.
Individual electoral registration gives you the right and responsibility to register yourself, instead of giving the responsibility to a 'head of household'. As such, it encourages people to take individual responsibility for their own vote. The change has also allowed more convenient methods of registration, for example, by Internet.
Because the new system asks you for a few more details before you are added to the register - your National Insurance number and date of birth - the electoral register will be more secure and more resistant to threats of electoral fraud.
- You can now register online at Register to Vote or complete and return the form in the envelope provided.
- Everyone is responsible for registering themselves.
The open register and the electoral register
Using information received from the public, registration officers keep two registers - the electoral register and 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 making sure only eligible people can vote. It is also used for other limited purposes specified in law, such as detecting crime (e.g. fraud), calling people for jury service and checking credit applications.
The open register is an extract of the electoral register, but is not used for elections. It 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 change your opt-out preference at any time by making a request with your full name, address and an indication of whether you wish to be included in or omitted from the edited register. You can do this by emailing us on email@example.com, in writing or over the phone. We will also write to you to confirm any change.
Any person who is included in the Register of Electors can apply for a postal vote or can appoint a proxy.
A postal voter is an elector to whom the Returning Officer sends a ballot paper through the normal post, together with necessary return envelopes and other documents. The elector marks the ballot paper in the privacy of their own home, completes a required declaration and then returns the papers through the normal post.
A proxy voter is an elector who appoints another person to vote on their behalf. This latter person is the "proxy".
All postal vote applications must be received by 5pm, 11 working days before polling day, and all proxy vote applications 5 days before polling day.
Applications to be returned to: Sedgemoor District Council, Electoral Services, Bridgwater House, King Square, Bridgwater, TA6 3AR