The Electoral Register is a list of everyone who is registered to vote. You can only vote at elections if you are on the register. You are not automatically registered just because you pay council tax and, if you fail to register, it can also affect your credit rating.
How to Register to Vote
In 2014, GOV.UK replaced the outdated 'household registration' system to give each individual control over their own registration - the new system is called Individual Electoral Registration (IER).
Each application needs to be made on an individual basis, i.e. each individual must make their own application for registration themselves. Applications should not be completed on behalf of someone else.
- visit the register to vote section on GOV.UK
- fill in your name, address, date of birth and a few other details. You'll also need your national insurance number, which can be found on your national insurance card, or in official paperwork such as pay slips, or letters about benefits or tax credits (if you are unable to find your national insurance number, visit www.gov.uk/lost-national-insurance-number)
- you will receive a confirmation letter to say you're registered
In some cases Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) may not be able to initially confirm your registration from the details that have been provided and a letter requesting further information will be sent out. This letter will set out the information that can be provided to confirm your registration.
One of the important changes as part of IER to note is that the Edited Register, which is available for purchase by third parties, is now called the Open Register. Some residents have found the wording on the confirmation letters confusing. The explanation about the difference between the Open and Electoral Registers is prescribed by law.
Being on the Open Register
MVDC is not allowed to assume that residents do not want to be on the Open Register and can omit you only if you have specifically asked. Anyone who elected not to appear on the Edited/Open Register when it was published in February 2014, will not appear on the Open Register. The law still requires MVDC to maintain and sell an Open Register.
If you received a letter confirming you are registered under the new system, then you do not need to do anything. This letter will tell you whether your details are on the Open Register or not. If you want to change your opt out arrangements, please email Democratic Services on email@example.com or call 01306 879198.
Eligibility to Vote
You can register to vote if you are:
- 16 years old or over (although you can only vote when you turn 18)
- a British citizen
- a citizen of another European Union Country: EU citizens can vote at local government and European parliamentary elections only
- a qualifying Commonwealth citizen
A full list of eligible countries is available.
Applying for Credit
If you are applying for a mortgage or credit and are having problems proving that you are included in the register of electors, then please contact MVDC and a Certificate of Residency letter confirming your details can be provided.
MVDC is under a duty to protect the public funds it administers and, to this end, may use the information you have provided in order to access this service for the prevention and detection of fraud. It may also share this information with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds for these purposes.
Further details can be found on the Data Matching Level 2 Notice page.
Viewing the Electoral Register
You can view a printed copy of the Electoral Register at the Council Offices in Pippbrook, Dorking.
- please note that the only register available for inspection at the Council Offices is the current edition of the register.
- anyone wishing to view the electoral register should book an appointment by calling 01306 885001.
- all viewings of the electoral register must be supervised. Maximum duration of an appointment is 20 minutes.
- please also note that the registers are not available online. Only hand written notes may be taken when looking at the electoral register, photocopies or photographs are not permitted.
Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer
MVDC is required to appoint an Electoral Registration Officer and a Returning Officer (who depending on the nature of the election may also be known as the Acting or Local Returning Officer) and to provide them with the resources required to undertake their role.
Their duties are separate from their duties as a local government officer and once appointed, the Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer is personally responsible for the delivery of elections and has a duty to maintain a register of Parliamentary electors and local government electors, respectively, and are not answerable to their local authority in respect of their electoral duties.
The electoral register is not considered to fall within the scope of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
MVDC is under a duty to protect the public funds it administers and to this end, may use the information you provide to the prevention and detection of fraud. It may also share this information with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds for these purposes. For more information, please visit Data Matching Level 2 Notice page.
For more information
Please write to: Electoral Registration Officer, MVDC, Pippbrook, Dorking, Surrey, RH4 1SJ, call 01306 879198 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.