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Electoral register

You must re-register to vote every time you change address. Even if you pay Council Tax, you are not automatically registered to vote.

The simplest way to register to vote is online.

Register to vote

To check if you are registered to vote individually, or if you would like to apply for a postal vote please contact the Electoral Services Office on 01432 260107 or email elections@herefordshire.gov.uk

Individual Electoral Registration

As of June 10 2014 the way we all register to vote changed.

Previously everyone registered to vote according to households. However, this system was vulnerable to fraud.  Now, everyone must register to vote individually.

In August 2014 Herefordshire Council were able to re-register over 86% of voters from the old household register automatically. However, the remaining 14% of voters on the old register, and anyone who has recently moved have had to register to vote under the new system.

Herefordshire Council wrote letters to every property in Herefordshire in September 2014 and February 2015 explaining who was registered to vote at the property and who needed to take further action. Most people are now registered to vote individually and do not need to do anything else.

For more information on Individual Electoral Registration, please visit our Individual Electoral registration Page.

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

How do I register to vote?

Quicker and easier registration

The quickest and easiest way to register is online. You can now complete your individual electoral registration using the following link:

Register to vote at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Alternatively you can contact us and we can either send you a form to register in the post or we can assist you to register by phone. To register by telephone, you will need to have your date of birth and national insurance number to hand.

Our opening times are:

  • Monday to Thursday 8.45am to 5.15pm
  • Friday 8.45am to 4.45pm

What is the open register?

The electoral register and the open register

Using information from the public, registration officers keep two registers - the electoral register and the open register (also known as the edited register).

  • The Electoral register lists the names and addresses of everybody who is registered to vote in public elections.
  • 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.

Electoral register

The electoral register is used for:

  • Electoral purposes, such as making sure only eligible people can vote
  • Other limited purposes specified in law

The personal data in the register must always be processed in line with data protection legislation.

Who uses the electoral register?

Users of the electoral register include:

  • Election staff, political parties, candidates and holders of elected office use the register for electoral purposes.
  • Your local council and the British Library hold copies that anybody may look at under supervision. A copy is also held by:
    • The Electoral Commission
    • Boundary Commissions (which set constituency boundary for most elections)
    • The Office for National Statistics
  • The council can use the register for duties relating to security, enforcing the law and preventing crime. The police and the security services can also use it for law enforcement.
  • The electoral register is used when calling people for jury service.
  • Government departments may buy the register from local registration officers and use it to help prevent and detect crime. They can also use it to safeguard national security by checking the background of job applicants and employees.
  • Credit reference agencies can buy the register. They help other organisations to check the names and addresses of people applying for credit. They also use it to carry out identity checks when trying to prevent and detect money laundering.

It is a criminal offence for anybody to supply or use the register for anything else.

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Open register

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 businesses and charities to confirm name and address details.

The personal data in the register must always be processed in line with data protection legislation.

  • 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 would not affect your right to vote.

If you did not opt out of the open register when you registered on the electoral register, you can do so using our online form:

Remove my name from the open register

Who uses the open register?

Users of the open register include:

  • Businesses checking the identity and address of people who apply for their services such as insurance, goods hire and property rental, as well as when they shop online
  • Businesses selling age-restricted goods or services, such as alcohol and gambling online, to meet the rules on verifying the age of their customers
  • Charities and other voluntary agencies, for example to help maintain contact information for those who have chosen to donate bone marrow and to help people separated by adoption to find each other
  • Charities, to help with fundraising and contacting people who have made donations
  • Debt collection agencies when tracing people who have changed their address without telling their creditors
  • Direct marketing firms when maintaining their mailing lists
  • Landlords and letting agents when checking the identity of potential tenants
  • Local councils when identifying and contacting residents
  • Online directory firms to help users of the websites find people, such as when reuniting friends and families
  • Organisations tracing and identifying beneficiaries of wills, pensions and insurance policies
  • Private sector firms to verify details of job applicants

Remove your name from the open register

If you did not opt out of the open register when you registered on the electoral register, you can do so using our online form:

Remove my name from the open register

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 businesses and charities to confirm name and address details.

The personal data in the register must always be processed in line with data protection legislation.

  • 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.

Alternative ways to contact us

If you cannot use our online form you can contact us by email or telephone:

Our opening times are:

  • Monday to Thursday 8.45am to 5.15pm
  • Friday 8.45am to 4.45pm

How do I change my details on the electoral register?

If you simply wish to remove your name from the open register and remain on the electoral register, please use our online form:

Remove my name from the open register

For other changes to your details please contact the Electoral Services on 01432 260107 or elections@herefordshire.gov.uk.

How do I vote by post or proxy?

You must be registered under Individual Electoral Registration to apply to vote by post or proxy.

Apply for postal or proxy votes

To find out if you are registered under Individual Electoral Registration for postal or proxy votes, please contact the Electoral Registration Office:

  • Telephone: 01432 260107

If you wish to request a postal or proxy vote application form please use our online form:

Request a postal or proxy vote application form

Postal votes

If you can't get to your polling station for whatever reason, you can apply for a postal vote but you must be registered under Individual Electoral Registration first. 

The deadline for the receipt of new postal vote applications or to change or cancel an existing postal applications for all elections is 11 working days prior to Polling Day.

Postal vote ballot papers are normally sent out about a week before the election.

Arranging a proxy vote

If you can't get to your polling station, you may be able to have someone vote on your behalf. You must be registered under Individual Electoral Registration first. Go to www.gov.uk/voting-in-the-uk/voting-by-proxy for an online application. Unlike a postal vote you must have a reason for applying for a proxy vote, such as:

  • Working away
  • Studying at university
  • Illness

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. You must be registered under Individual Electoral Registration first. 

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

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.  They must be registered under Individual Electoral Registration first. 

Waiver

If you are unable to provide a signature or a consistent signature due to a disability or illness for a postal or proxy application, then you may apply for a Waiver application and it must be signed by a witness.

Please contact the Electoral Registration Office on 01432 260107 or email elections@herefordshire.gov.uk

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.

Our opening times are:

  • Monday to Thursday 8.45am to 5.15pm
  • Friday 8.45am to 4.45pm

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.

Change/register your house name

How do I change my house's name?

You need to let us know before you change your house'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.

How do I register a new property?

To register a new property you need to complete our house registration form and include a location map indicating the property.

New registrations are checked with the Royal Mail. We will let you know if the address of the property will conflict with any other property in the area, as this can cause problems with credit ratings and the emergency services.

Once your property has been successfully registered with Royal Mail we notify council departments, the land registry, police, water companies and two major credit reference companies.

Please be aware that if your property is numbered then you need to register it with street naming and numbering.

The above also applies to commercial properties. If you would like an application form for a change or registration of a commercial address or would like any further information regarding house name changes and registrations please contact us:

Our opening times are:

  • Monday to Thursday 8.45am to 5.15pm
  • Friday 8.45am to 4.45pm

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