In order to vote in UK elections and referendums, you need to apply to have your name included on the electoral register. This is known as registering to vote. It is a legal requirement to supply the required information. You can register to vote online using our Self Service portal.
If you are not registered you will not be able to vote at any election. You are not automatically registered even if you pay Council Tax. You can register to vote if you are 16 years old or over, and a British, Irish, Commonwealth or European Union citizen. If you are 16 or 17, you can register now but you are not allowed to vote until you are 18. The simplest way to register is by going online at GOV.UK. It only takes a few minutes to register but you will need to have your National Insurance number to hand as you won't be able to complete your application without it.
Anyone included in the Register of Electors may apply for a postal vote. If you know that you will not be able to vote in person, you should apply for a postal vote as soon as an election is announced or as soon as you become aware that you will be out of the country on polling day. Postal votes can be sent to an address outside the UK - for example if you are going on holiday - but please remember that it will take time to get there and for you to return it in time for the vote to be counted.
Postal ballot papers are normally sent out a week or two before polling day (depending on when you send in your postal voting application), so if you will not be at home around that time you should consider appointing a proxy to vote on your behalf.
You may still be able to vote even if you are unable to get to your polling station on election day by applying for a proxy vote. (A proxy is someone who votes on your behalf). For example:
- If you will be away on holiday (in the UK or abroad)
- If your work takes you away from home
- If you are ill or in hospital
If you want to appoint a proxy to vote for you, he or she must be:
- Willing to vote on your behalf
- A registered elector
- A British citizen or citizen of the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland, or for local government and European Parliamentary elections, a citizen of the European Union
- Old enough to vote and legally allowed to vote.
Armed Forces Personnel
If you are a member of the Armed Forces and are registered as an elector, you will be entitled to vote in Parliamentary, Local and European Elections in the UK.
Service personnel and their spouses resident in the UK may register in either of two ways. They may be included as an ordinary elector by completing an individual registration application, or they may register as service voters.
In order to register as a service voter you will need to complete a service declaration every 5 years, which will be the best option if you are likely to be posted overseas. If you are likely to be posted overseas, it is advisable to apply to vote by post or by proxy.
If you are a British National living overseas you are entitled to vote in UK General Elections and European Parliamentary Elections for up to 15 years after you were last registered in the UK. Overseas electors cannot vote at local government elections. If you are in the armed forces or crown personnel this does not apply to you.
In order to register as an overseas voter you will need to contact the electoral registration office at the local council covering the address for where you were last registered within the UK. If the last UK address you were registered at was in the Bolsover District you can register with us or contact us at Electoral Services, Bolsover District Council, The Arc, High Street, Clowne. S43 4JY.
If you have never been registered as an elector in the UK, you will not be eligible to register as an overseas voter. However, if you left the UK before you were 18 years of age you can register at your parents or guardians' address, provided that they were registered and that you left the UK no more than 15 years ago.
Overseas electors should also apply to vote by post or proxy. Postal votes are sent out approximately one to two weeks before polling day (depending on when you made your application), so if you are not likely to be able to receive and return a postal vote in that time, you should consider appointing a proxy.
Students who are away at university or college can remain registered at their family home and may also register at their student accommodation. It is however an offence to vote twice in the same election. Students may also wish to consider the option of a postal vote.
Many of the major credit firms check your address against the electoral register and you may be refused a loan, mobile phone agreement, mortgage, bank account, etc, if you are not registered. It is also your chance to have your say about how your local council or the government is run.
The Electoral Register contains the names and addresses of all those who have registered to vote within Bolsover District.
Every August/September, a Household Enquiry Form is sent to each household in the District requesting the names of those residing in the house who are eligible to vote. Information on how to complete the Household Enquiry Form is included on the form.
Reminders are issued to households who have not responded and the revised Electoral Register is usually published on 1st December each year.
Two versions are prepared:
- The Full Register lists everybody who is eligible to vote, a copy is available at The Arc, High Street, Clowne, S43 4JY for public inspection in accordance with legal requirements. Inspection of the register is strictly under supervision and only written notes can be taken. You will not be permitted to photocopy or take images of any part of the register. It is not permissible for an electronic search to be carried out.
- The open version leaves out names and addresses of people who have made a request to be excluded from this version of the register. The open version can be bought by anyone for any purpose.
If you move house after the register is published on 1 December, you can apply to be registered in respect of your new address under the Rolling Registration procedures which takes approximately four to six weeks to take effect. You can register online at your new address or contact us for a printed form. Once an election has been called and you find out that you are not currently registered you can apply to register up to 12 days before the election.