The way we register to vote has changed
The process to register changed on 10 June 2014. The new process is called ‘Individual Electoral Registration’.
How is the new system different?
- You can now register online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
- The responsibility is now with the individual for registering. Under the old system the 'head of every household' could register everyone who lived at their address.
- You need to provide a few more details to register, including your national insurance number and date of birth. This makes the electoral register more secure.
How do I register under the new system?
- Go to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
- Fill in your name, address, date of birth and a few other details. You will also need your national insurance number, which can be found on your national insurance card, or in official paperwork such as payslips , or letters about benefits or tax credits.
- Look out for a confirmation to say that you are registered.
Will I need to do anything?
- Look out for a letter between July and August.
Most people who are are already registered to vote will be registered automatically under the new system. They do not need to do anything. However, some people will need to take action to join the new register. We are writing to people to tell them whether they need to take action.
- Respond to the letter if you are asked to
The letter will tell you whether you are on the new register or whether you need to take action. It will tell you what to do.
Do I need to do anything?
If you received a letter confirming you are registered under the
new system you do not need to do anything.
However, you may need to register under the new system if:
- You received a letter telling you that you needed to re-register, or
- You have changed address since you received a confirmation that you were registered, or
- you did not receive a letter
To find out more information:
- Visit: Your Vote Matters
The electoral register
Two versions of the register are now published, a full version and an edited version.
The full and edited registers were published on 17 Febuary 2014.
The full register
The full register lists everyone who is entitled to vote. Anyone can look at it on council premises, but you cannot make a photocopy of the register and you can only take handwritten notes from it.
Only certain people and organisations can have copies of the full register, and they can only use it for specified purposes. These include electoral purposes, the prevention and detection of crime and checking your identity when you have applied for credit.
The law states who can have a copy of the full register and what they can use it for. Broadly speaking it is only used for elections, preventing and detecting crime and checking applications for credit.
It is a criminal offence for them to pass it on to anyone else or to use it for any other purpose other than those specified.
It is not possible to search the full register nationally, as the full registers are only available to view at each local electoral registration office.
The edited register
The edited register (also known as the open register) leaves out the names and addresses of people who have asked for them to be excluded from that version of the register. The edited register can be sold to anyone who requests it, and used for any purpose. Cheshire West and Chester Council may use the information we hold for the prevention and detection of fraud, which also includes for the assessment and/or collection of any tax or duty. This will include sharing of information held internally and with external organisations where the law allows.
If you do not wish your details to be available on the edited register, please tick the opt out box on your canvass form. If you wish to permanently opt out of the edited register please complete the section 11 form supplied with your canvass form or download a copy here for completion:
The council does not make the edited register available online. This practice is common to many other councils.
However, some commercial organisations will allow you to search the electoral register for the whole of the UK in return for a registration fee.
For further information please contact our Democratic and Electoral Services team: