Waverley Borough Council

Registering to vote

Register to vote - Individual Electoral Registration (IER)

The voter registration system changed on Tuesday 10 June 2014.  The new system is called "Individual Electoral Registration (IER)".  Everyone is responsible for registering themselves rather than the old system of one person from each household registering everyone who lived at their address.

Why do I need to be registered?

You can only vote if you are registered.  Credit reference agencies also use the Electoral Register when they assess credit applications for obtaining loans or mortgages and when individuals open bank accounts or wish to set up mobile phone contracts.  Registration is required by law.

How do I register to vote?

Register to vote online

  1. Fill in all parts of the forms and include your date of birth and national insurance number.  Your national insurance number can be found on your national insurance card or on a payslip or letter about benefits or pension information.
  2. You will receive confirmation to say you have been registered.

Fill in a form by hand

If you would prefer to fill in a form by hand, please download an Invitation to register to vote form.  

Please fill in all parts of the form and include your date of birth and national insurance number.  Your national insurance number can be found on your national insurance card or on a payslip or letter about benefits or pension information. 

What is different?

Everyone is responsible for registering themselves rather than the old system of one person from each household registering everyone who lived at their address.

When you register to vote, you will now need to give your date of birth and national insurance number.  This is to verify your identity and prevent fraud.

I am already registered - what do I need to do?

You just need to look out for a letter we will send you late July/early August 2014. Most people who are already registered to vote will be registered automatically under the new individual system and this will be confirmed in the letter we will send you.  If this applies to you, you will not need to do anything. However some people will need to take action for their details to be added to the new individual register. We will write to you late July/early August 2014 to tell you if you need to take action and what you have to do.

To find out more about individual registration you can visit www.gov.uk/yourvotematters.  

I do not know if I am registered

You can check whether you are already registered by contacting the Elections team by email to electoral.services@waverley.gov.uk or by phone on 01483 523116.

Who can register to vote?

You can register to vote as soon as you are 17 (although you can't vote until you are 18).  You must also live at an address in the Waverley area for at least six months of the year.

You also need to be:

  • A British, Irish or Commonwealth citizen; or
  • A citizen of a country in the European Union: and
  • Resident at your address for at least 6 months of the year

There are two forms of the registers.  Why?

The Electoral Registration Officer keeps 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 (eg fraud), calling people for jury service, 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 business 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 out more information about both registers and how they may be used at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.  

Viewing the register

If you want to see the full electoral register, you can make an appointment by contacting the Elections team.  Email electoral.services@waverley.gov.uk or phone 01483 523116.

  • Inspection of the register will be under supervision
  • You can take extracts from the register, but only by hand written notes
  • Information taken must not be used for direct marketing purposes, in accordance with the Data Protection Act, unless it has been published in the edited version.

Anyone who fails to observe these conditions is committing a criminal offence and will be charged a penalty of up to £5000.

Page owner: Joe Blythman. Last updated: 02/07/2014 10:34