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Frequently asked questions

Last Modified August 05, 2014
 

Why do I need to register to vote?

If you don't register then you can't vote in an election and it is much harder to obtain credit. You can add your name to the register at any time throughout the year. 

How long does it take to register?

The register is updated on a monthly basis, but it can take up to seven weeks for your name to appear on the register. The register is usually published on the first working day of each month, although additional updates are made in the lead up to elections.

When you apply to register, your information is sent to the government digital service to be verified. If there are problems verifying your registration we may contact you to ask for further information. Once your application has been verified we will add you to our list of new applications. Any elector can then object to your name being added to the electoral register. If this happens we will write to you. If there is no objection we will change your details within seven weeks of receiving your form and this will be confirmed in writing to you.

The rules are slightly different in the run up to an election however, and you can register up to 12 working days before polling day.

Why is my registration checked against government records?

The Electoral Registration & Administration Act 2013 introduced a new system of individual registration on 10 June 2014 designed, in part, to prevent electoral fraud by verifying that applicants are who they say they are. This is done by checking applications to register against existing government records. For more information on Individual registration visit our dedicated page.

I have received a confusing letter regarding the open register. Do I appear on the open register?

 Please see our open register page for an explanation of the error on some of the letters sent to members of the public regarding their registration.

What if I am homeless or living in temporary accommodation?

If you are homeless or living in temporary or long-term hostel accommodation, you are still entitled to vote, providing you are eligible.

There are two ways of doing this depending on your situation. If you have lived, and will be living, in relatively stable accommodation for a year or longer it is possible to register in the usual way. 

If your situation is less stable, for example if you are sleeping rough or in short-term emergency accommodation, you can register to vote by declaration of local connection. This means that you can register at any location where you spend a large proportion of your time. This can be a day centre, a doorway, a project base, shop or café, etc.

You will need to complete a form, available from our offices, and return it to us. This registration will last for up to a year and will need to be renewed every year. You need to provide an address where you can collect mail, or alternatively, you can collect it from us.

Can I register anonymously?

The law allows you to be able to register anonymously if you would be at risk of danger if your name and address were to appear in the register of electors.

This means that only an electoral number would be shown in the register under a separate section. All electoral documents would be treated in strict confidence and not available to the general public. Application forms and further information can be obtained from us. This also applies to any person living in the same household as another person who is at risk.

Who can look at the electoral register?

There two registers; the electoral register and the open register (also known as the edited register).

The Electoral 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 (e.g. fraud), calling people for jury service and checking credit applications.

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. 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 no affect your right to vote.

You can find more information about both registers and how they may be used at on our open register page or at www.gove.uk/register-to-vote

Who is the Electoral Registration Office?

The Electoral Registration Office carries out the statutory function of preparing and publishing the Register of Electors for Hertsmere.

Its functions are governed by various laws, principally the Local Government Act 1972 and the Representation of the People Act 1983.

For electoral purposes Hertsmere is divided into 15 wards, which are further sub-divided into 48 polling districts.

What if I am unable to get to the polling station on election day?

If you know in advance you will be unable to go to your polling station on election day, you can apply to vote by post or by proxy .

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