Elections and Registration Frequently Asked Questions

Elections and Registration Frequently Asked Questions

The answers to some of the questions we get asked the most about Elections, registering to vote and the annual registration canvass.

Know what question you want answering? You can skip to the relevant Election, Electoral Registration or Annual Household Registration Canvass question below. If this page does not provide the answers you are looking for, please contact Electoral Services.

Elections Questions


Electoral Registration Questions


Annual Household Registration Canvass Questions


Elections

Q:  Am I eligible to vote?

A:  As long as you are a British, Irish or Commonwealth citizen, aged 18 or over on the day the election is held and you are registered to vote, you should be eligible to vote in local and national elections held in the Broxtowe area.  European Union citizens who are aged 18 or over and registered to vote would be eligible to vote in local elections only.  If you are not registered to vote on the day of the election, you will not be given a ballot paper.

Back to the Top

Q:  Will I receive a poll card?

A:  Yes, all registered electors who are eligible to vote will be sent a poll card prior to an election.  The poll card will provide information about when the election is taking place and either details of your polling station or, if you are a postal voter, details of your current postal voting arrangements.

Back to the Top

Q:  Can I place my vote at any polling station?

A:  Each polling station has a register of all the electors eligible to vote there so you must go to the polling station on your poll card.  If you go to another polling station, you will not be able to vote.

Back to the Top

Q:  I can't get to the polling station, what can I do?

A:  If you can't get to the polling station, you can apply to vote by post (Opens in a New Window) or apply to vote by proxy.(Opens in a New Window) This can be done on a permanent basis depending on your circumstances, for a specific time period or for just one election.  More information can be found on our How and Where to Vote page.

Back to the Top

Q:  I've received my postal poll card and I no longer want it/my details have changed, what do I do?

A:  Any cancellations or changes to postal voting arrangements must be made in writing before the postal voting deadline.  The deadline should be printed on your poll card.  We can accept changes in writing or by email and request that you include your full name, address and date of birth for verification purposes.  Any requests received after the deadline cannot be accepted.

Back to the Top

Q:  My postal vote has not arrived, what can I do?

A:  If your postal vote has not arrived with you by 4 days before the election date, we can issue you with a replacement postal voting pack.  Please contact Electoral Services for more information.

Back to the Top

Q:  What is an Emergency Proxy?

A:  An Emergency Proxy can be issued in certain circumstances after the deadline for ordinary proxies has passed.  You could be eligible for an emergency proxy if:

  • You are sent away from home by your employer and you were told after the ordinary proxy deadline;
  • You become ill/incapacitated after the ordinary proxy deadline.

Emergency proxy applications must be supported by your employer or a medical professional.  Please contact Electoral Services to check if you qualify for an emergency proxy.

Back to the Top


Electoral Registration

Q:  Why should I register to vote?

A:  If your name does not appear on the electoral register, then you will not be able to have your say and vote in elections and referendums that take place in the borough.  The electoral register is also used when checking credit applications and so you could be turned down for a mortgage or other forms of credit if you're not registered.  Anyone who has recently moved house should make sure that they register to vote at their new address as this is not done automatically when you contact Council Tax and is often something that gets forgotten.

You are eligible to register to vote if you are aged 16 or over and a British, Irish, Commonwealth or European Union citizen.

Back to the Top

Q:  How can I register to vote?

A:  You can register to vote online (Opens in a New Window) or by completing an application form.  You will need to include your full name, address, date of birth, nationality and national insurance number in the application.  It is also best to include the last address you were registered at so that we can ensure that your name is removed from that address.  All applications to register to vote are subject to verification before they can be accepted.

Back to the Top

Q:  What if my application fails the verification process?

A:  If the verification is not successful, we may write to you to request further evidence to support your application.  A list of documentation we can accept will be sent with the letter, but the best forms of identification are photographic ID such as driving licences or passports.

Back to the Top

Q:  Can I check if I am already registered to vote?

A:  You can check if you are already registered to by completing and submitting our online Am I registered to vote? form. (Opens in a New Window) We will then check our records and contact you as soon as we can.

Back to the Top

Q:  What is the Open Register?

A:  The open register is an extract from the full electoral register and can be purchased by any person.  More information about the open register can be found on our Electoral Register page.  You can opt out of appearing on the open register by ticking the box whilst completing your application.  If you are already registered to vote and wish to be excluded from this version of the register, you should complete a form to opt out of appearing on the open register. (Opens in a New Window)

Back to the Top

Q:  I want to register to vote but I'm worried about my safety, what can I do?

A:  In certain circumstances, we can offer anonymous registration to electors who feel that their safety would be compromised if their name appears on the electoral register.  Anonymous registration applications must be supported by documentary evidence or a statement by a qualified officer.  More information about registering to vote anonymously is available on the Your Vote Matters website, (Opens in a New Window) or you can contact Electoral Services.

Back to the Top

Q:  I live overseas.  Can I still register to vote?

A:  If you are a British citizen living abroad, you can register to vote and would be eligible to vote in national elections and referendums.  When you complete your application to vote, you must provide the last UK address you were registered to vote at and the overseas address you are living at now.  You should also complete an application form to vote by post or by proxy.  More information about registering to vote as an Overseas Elector is available on the Electoral Commission website. (Opens in a New Window)

Back to the Top

Q:  I am a member of the Armed Forces, how do I register?

As a member of the armed forces, you can choose to register as a service voter or as an ordinary elector.  More information about registering to vote as a service voter is available on the Electoral Commission website. (Opens in a New Window)

Back to the Top

Q:  I am a Student, where should I register to vote?

A:  As a student, you can register to vote at both your home and university addresses.  More information about student registration can be found on the Electoral Commission website. (Opens in a New Window)

Back to the Top

Q:  How long will it take for my name to appear on the Electoral Register?

A:  It depends on when you submit your application.  If you complete an application between the beginning of December and the beginning of August, it will take 1-2 months for your registration to take effect.  Once your application has been processed, you will receive a letter which will tell you when your name will be added to the electoral register.  If you complete an application during the annual household registration canvass between the beginning of August and mid November, your registration will take effect on 1 December.  Again, you will receive a letter confirming this.

Back to the Top


Annual Household Registration Canvass

Q:  What is the Annual Household Registration Canvass?

A: Every year, the Council is required by law to contact every household in the borough to check that the information we hold in the electoral register is correct.

From 2020, the Government has changed the household canvass to help make the process easier for householders. We will also be using other forms of communication to make the process simpler so what you receive from us may be different to what your family, friends and neighbours receive.

As part of the new process, the Council is required to undertake a data match of the details we hold on the electoral register against national and local data before contacting residents. How we contact you and how you should respond will depend on the result of the data match.

Back to the Top

Q:  What is Data Matching?

A: National Data Matching – This will involve the electoral register being securely matched against the Department of Works and Pensions (DWP) database at the beginning of August.

Local Data Matching – This will involve the electoral register being matched against local records such as Council Tax.

Back to the Top

Q:  How will you contact me during the Annual Household Registration Canvass?

A: Initially you will be contacted by:

  • e-mail or
  • by post

If you do not respond, we will have to contact you again by post with a reminder.

If we do not receive a response to the initial or reminder communication as requested, we may also contact you by:

  • telephone
  • household visit

Back to the Top

Q:  If I receive an email, how will I know that it is genuine?

A: Emails will be sent between 25 August and 1 September 2020.  The following tips should help you to know that the email is genuine:

  • The email will be sent from broxtowe.borough.council.electoral.services@notifications.service.gov.uk.  
  • The email is not addressed generically, such as Dear Household but is addressed to you by name. 
  • The link in the email to the Broxtowe Borough Council online canvass response service is www.elecreg.co.uk/broxtowe-e (Opens in a new window)
  • The email includes the unique two part security code details for your address.

Back to the Top

Q:  Do I have to respond to the Annual Household Registration Canvass and, if so, how do I do it?

A: Whether you have to respond or not and how you can respond will depend on the type of communication you receive.

How you need to respond to the Annual Household Registration Canvass
I have received... Do I need to respond? How do I respond?

An email

Yes, you must respond. If you do not respond we will have to follow up with a letter.
  • Read the information in the email carefully.

  • Access the internet response service using security codes given in your email to view the information we hold.

  • Check the information on screen carefully and either confirm that the information we hold is correct or inform us of any changes to your household details.

A letter that tells me to respond.

Yes, you must respond. If you do not respond we will have to send further reminders.
  • Check the information in your letter carefully.

  • Follow the instructions in the letter and access the internet response service using the security codes given in your letter to either confirm that the information we hold is correct or to inform us of any changes to your household details.

  • You may also use the automated telephone response service by calling 0808 284 1457 and entering the security codes printed on your letter to confirm that the information we hold is correct. You cannot make any changes using this service.

A letter that tells me to respond if there are changes to be made.

ONLY if there are changes to be made.
  • Check the information in your letter carefully.

  • If it IS NOT correct and you need to update the details we hold, follow the instructions in the letter and access the internet response service using the security codes given in your letter to inform us of the changes to your household details.

Reminder canvass form

Yes, you must respond. If you do not respond we will have to send further reminders.
  • Check the information on the form carefully.

  • Follow the instructions on the form and access the internet response service using the security codes on your form to either confirm that the information we hold is correct or to inform us of any changes to your household details.

  • You may also use the automated telephone response service by calling 0808 284 1457 and entering the security codes printed on your form to confirm that the information we hold is correct. You cannot make any changes using this service.

  • You can also make changes on the canvass form and return it by post.

Back to the Top

Q:  Why should I respond?

A: The law says that you must respond to the annual canvass if the communication you receive from us asks you to do so. Please respond as soon as possible to avoid receiving reminders and household visits/telephone canvass calls.

If you do not respond and are not registered to vote, it could affect your:

  • right to vote
  • ability to open a bank account,
  • ability to get credit, a loan or a mortgage.

Back to the Top

Q:  I have responded to the annual household registration canvass.  Is that all I have to do?

A: If you have confirmed that the information we hold is correct, or told us that someone registered to vote at your address has moved out, then that it all you need to do. If you have told us that someone needs to be added to the electoral register at your address, then that person will need to register to vote.

An application to register to vote can be completed when responding online to the household communication you have received.  Alternatively, anyone who needs to register can complete an application on the gov.uk website (Opens in a new window).

Back to the Top


Contact
Electoral Services
tel: 0115 917 3276