Elections Frequently Asked Questions

Elections 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 question below. If this page does not provide the answers you are looking for, please contact Electoral Services.

Elections Questions


Electoral Registration Questions


Household Registration 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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 Your Vote Matters website. (Opens in a New Window)

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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 Your Vote Matters website. (Opens in a New Window)

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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 Your Vote Matters website. (Opens in a New Window)

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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.

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Household Registration

Q:  Why have I received a Household Enquiry Form?

A:  Every year we must send a Household Enquiry Form to every household in the borough to check that the information on the electoral register is correct.  This is a requirement that is written in legislation.  We use the information collected to publish the revised electoral register on 1 December each year.

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Q:  Nothing has changed, can I ignore the Household Enquiry Form?

A:  Please do not ignore it.  You need to respond to the Household Enquiry Form every year, even if the information on the form is correct and nothing has changed.  You should respond to the form as soon as possible to avoid receiving a reminder or a visit from one of our canvassers.

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Q:  The information printed on the Household Enquiry Form is wrong, how can I change it?

A:  You should make us aware of any changes to the details, such as name changes, spelling errors, new people to register or people who have moved out when you respond to the Household Enquiry Form.  You can change the details on our registration website or you can cross out the details on the form, write the new details and post the form to us.  You cannot make any changes via the telephone registration service.  Depending on the changes you have made, we may ask you to send us further information.

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Q:  How do I respond to the Household Enquiry Form?

A:  You should firstly check the details on the form to see if the current information we hold is accurate or if you need to make any changes.  You should include the names of every person living in your household who is over the age of 16 and who is a British, Irish, Commonwealth or European Union Citizen.

Once you have checked the information, there are three ways you can respond:

  • You can confirm or make changes to the current details online. (Opens in a New Window)  You will need the security codes that are printed on your Household Enquiry Form.
  • You can confirm that there are no changes to your details using our automated telephone service if you have a touch tone phone.  You will need the security codes printed on your Household Enquiry Form and should input these on your telephone keypad when prompted.  You cannot make any changes to your details by telephone.
  • You can confirm or make changes to the current details by completing the form.

The online and telephone services are only available between approximately 20 July and 18 November each year.

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Q:  I've responded to the Household Enquiry Form, is that all I have to do?

A:  If nothing has changed, then there is nothing else you need to do.  However, if you have added a new person to the Household Enquiry Form, they will need to complete an application to register to vote before their name can be added to the electoral register.  This can be done online at the gov.uk website (Opens in a New Window) or we can send an application form for them to complete.  If you have changed your name, we will need to send you a further application form to complete.

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Q:  I've received a reminder form, why?

A:  If you have recently responded to your Household Enquiry Form, it may have crossed over with the reminder forms being produced.  However, if you have not responded to the initial form, we have to send a reminder.  If we don't receive a response to the reminder, our team of canvassers will visit those properties between September and November so it is always best to respond to the household enquiry form as soon as possible once you receive it.

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Contact
Electoral Services
tel: 0115 917 3276