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Electoral register

The Electoral Register

The register of electors is a list of all the residents in Herefordshire who are eligible to vote in elections. The register is updated regularly either by the Annual Canvass or by Rolling Registration. See 'How do I register to vote?' for more information.

It is important to be on the register as registration allows you to vote in elections and also makes it easier for you to obtain credit.

Why should I register?

  • If you don’t register you can’t vote!
  • Being able to vote gives you a say on who represents you in your local council, in the UK Parliament and Europe
  • Being registered to vote gives you the opportunity to have a say on important issues that affect you. That includes decisions made by elected representatives about everything from roads and recycling to education and climate change.
  • If an election is called at short notice you'll be able to have your say
  • If you’re a student living away from home, you can register at your main home and at your college, allowing you to vote wherever you are at the time of an election
  • Many people regard the right to vote and be involved in how the country they live in is governed as a fundamental right. Registering to vote supports this view and those who have fought to achieve it.

Registering is easier than you think. See our How do I register to vote page.

How do I register to vote?

Every year we send a form to each household in Herefordshire asking for information on who lives at your home address. This is called the Annual Canvass. By law, you must complete this form and return it to us. We then use the information on the form to publish a completely new electoral register. 

Rolling Registration

You can register to vote at any time during the year through Rolling Registration. To do this you will need to download and complete an application to be registered as an elector form.

Alternatively you can contact us and we will send a form to your home address:

Proof of name and address

You will need to provide two forms of proof of name and address when you return the form if you have downloaded it from our website.

The two forms of identification should be one from each of the following:

  1. A photo ID, for example your driving licence or passport (or alternatively a medical/national card or birth certificate)
  2. An electricity, gas, telephone or council tax bill with your name and address on it

The proof of address must contain your new address that you are registering to vote for.

What is the opt-out?

By law the Electoral Registration Officer makes and keeps two versions of the electoral register

the full register and the edited register.

The full register lists everyone who is entitled to vote and is used for elections and referendums, helping to prevent and detect crime and credit reference agencies can also use it to check applications for credit. Only certain people and organisations can have copies of the full register. It is a criminal offence for them to pass it on to anyone else or to use it for any purpose other than electoral reasons or crime prevention. You can inspect the full register by visiting the Electoral Services office at the Town Hall, Hereford, during office hours.

The edited register leaves out the names and addresses of people who have asked for their names to be excluded from that version of the register. This is also known as ‘the opt-out’. The edited register can be bought by anyone who asks for a copy and they may use it for any purpose. It is frequently used for marketing purposes.

Your details will appear on the full version of the register but you can choose whether or not your details appear on the edited register. You will need to make this choice every year when you fill your annual electoral registration renewal form. Alternatively, under s11 of the Data Protection Act 1998, you can request to have your name excluded permanently from the edited register by writing to or emailing the Electoral Services office stating that you do not want your details to be passed on to third parties or used for direct marketing purposes on a permanent basis or until further notice.

How do I change my details on the electoral register?

If any of your details have changed (other than your address), or you would like to opt out of the edited register you can tell us by filling in and returning the amendment to the register of electors form.

If you have moved address you will need to complete an application to register as an elector form.

How do I vote by post or proxy?

Postal votes

If you can't get to your polling station for whatever reason, you can apply for a postal vote. You need to get this form to us more than 11 working days before polling day.

Your postal vote will be sent to you about a week before the election.

Normally we need a signature for your application, but if you cannot provide a signature or a consistent signature due to a disability you can apply for a signature waiver. This must be signed by a witness.

Arranging a proxy vote

If you can't get to your polling station, you may be able to have someone vote on your behalf. Unlike a postal vote you must have a reason for applying for a proxy vote, such as:

  • Working away
  • Studying at university
  • Illness

Download a Proxy application. You will need to nominate your proxy on the form.

You need to get the form to us more than six working days before polling day. The deadline to change or cancel an existing proxy application is by 11 working days before polling day.

Medical emergencies

If you fall ill after 5pm on the closing date to apply for a proxy and are not able to go to the polling station on polling day you can apply for an emergency proxy.

Your application will need to be signed by your medical attendant and be returned to us by 5pm on polling day. Download a Medical Proxy application.

Arranging a postal proxy

If you have appointed someone to act as your proxy and they live outside the area or cannot get to the polling station, the proxy voter can apply for a postal proxy vote.  Download a Postal Proxy application.

How do I register to vote if I am away from home?

Overseas voters

British citizens living abroad can vote in UK parliamentary and European parliamentary elections, but not local government elections. If you have lived abroad for more than 15 years, then by law you are not eligible to vote in any UK elections.

To vote from overseas, complete and send an Overseas Declaration, to the council that covered the area in which you were last registered to vote. You'll need a British citizen living abroad to sign your form. Your local British embassy or consulate may also be able to help.

You can vote in person, by post, or proxy. If you are living abroad, there may not be enough time for a postal vote to reach you and be sent back before voting closes, so consider using a proxy.

Service voters

Service personnel and their husbands, wives or civil partners living in the UK may register to vote in the usual way, or make a Service Declaration.

The service declaration lets you register at the address where you would be living if you were not in the services, or at an address where you used to live.

Voters who make a service declaration can vote in person, by post, or proxy. If you are living abroad, there may not be enough time for a postal vote to reach you and be sent back before voting closes, so consider using a proxy.

Crown servants

If you're a British, Commonwealth or Irish citizen working outside the UK as a Crown Servant or employee of the British Council, you can still register to vote. If you're married to someone in this position, and you accompany them during their employment abroad, you can also register in this way.

Just complete a Crown Servant Declaration and send the address of the place where you would live if you were in the UK or where you have lived in the UK in the past.

Local connections

If you don't have a fixed address, you can still register to vote. This may be because you are:

  • A patient in a mental health hospital
  • A homeless person
  • A person remanded in custody

To register, you need to fill in a form called a declaration of local connection. You can get this form by contacting us directly.

On the form, you must give an address where you would be living in the UK, or an address where you have lived in the past. If you are homeless, you can give details of where you spend a substantial part of your time.

How do I change my house's name?

You need to let us know before you change your house's name, or register a new property's name.

We need the owner's permission to change the name of a house. If you are a tenant, or you are purchasing the property and the contracts have not yet exchanged, we cannot proceed with your request.

To make a name change, you need to complete our house name change form, and include a location map indicating the property. We charge a £25 administration fee, cheques should be made payable to Herefordshire Council.

Name changes are checked with the Royal Mail. We will let you know if changing your house name will conflict with any other property in the area, as this can cause problems with credit ratings and the emergency services.

When a house name changes, we notify council departments, the land registry, police, water companies and two major credit reference companies.

If your property has a number and a street name, you cannot remove the house number, without informing us and getting agreement from the whole street.

For further information please contact us: