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Individual Electoral Registration

FAQs and help understanding IER

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What is IER?

IER stands for Individual Electoral Registration. Previously, it was up to the ‘head of household’ to register everyone eligible to vote at their address. From 10 June it has been the responsibility of every individual to register themselves.

Individuals can register online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

What do I do?

If you are already on the register

You will receive a confirmation letter after 18 July 2014. You need take no further action. The majority of people will be in this category.

If you are not already on the register

You will receive a letter explaining that you are not on the register, and the appropriate form, which you will be asked to complete and return to the local authority. You will also be able to use the online registration service at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

I’ve received my letter but…

I thought I was already registered but have received an Invitation to register

We have attempted to match all records against the government database, using a secure, thoroughly tested system. For all sorts of reasons, some people will not have matched. This could be because of a recent move, or a name change etc. Because of this, we will need to confirm your details using evidence provided by you. This will help in the prevention of fraud. Again, you can either respond by completing the form you have received, online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

I’ve received an Invitation to Register but others in my house have received confirmation letters

It may be the case that the government database will have records for some individuals and not others, within the same household. For example, one person may have benefits, or be registered for council tax, but the other may not. Or one person may have moved into the property to join someone who was already resident.

I received an Invitation to Register, but have registered online recently

Under the new system, registration can now take a few days to process. This may mean that your letter was printed and sent before you registered online. If you have already received confirmation that your online application has been received, you do not need to complete the paper form. You should receive your confirmation letter shortly.

I received an Invitation to Register, but can I still vote without responding?

It depends. If you currently vote by post or proxy, you will need to re-register as we are not able to transfer existing absent votes to the new system. If you normally vote at a polling station, you will remain on the register until December 2015, even if you do not respond. Remember, you can register online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

I received a letter for someone who does not live at my property

Please contact the elections office, we will then record that information against your property. Have you recently moved in? If so, you need to register at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

I vote by post/proxy. How does IER affect me?

If you still wish to vote by post or proxy, you will need to re-register in order to retain this. If you are happy to now vote at the polling station, you do not need to respond but we will remove your absent vote. You will then remain on the register until December 2015. After this date, you will need to re-register. You can do this online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

I’m having difficulties registering because…

I don’t know my National Insurance Number

You can find this on any payslip, P60, P45, your National Insurance card, any letters from the Dept. of Work and Pensions, HMRC, etc. If you are still having difficulty, you can visit www.gov.uk/lost-national-insurance-number or telephone 0300 200 3502.

I don’t have access to the internet

You can still register online by visiting the Guildhall and using one of the computers in the One Stop Shop, or visiting the library and using one of theirs. The website is the same wherever you log on: www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.

If you are unsure about using a computer, contact the elections office and we will post a form to you.

Registration process

Can my partner/family member register me?

No. Under the new system, each individual who is eligible to vote is responsible for registering themselves. You can do this online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote or contact the office on 01604 837111.

Will you still send me an annual canvass form?

No, the canvass form is now called a Household Enquiry Form (HEF). You should use this to confirm all those whose entries on the register are correct, and amend where necessary; however, whereas before, that would have been the end of the process, we will now send any new additions an Invitation to Register, which needs to be completed.

Do I need to re-register every year?

You only need to re-register when you move to a new address. However, you will need to return the Household Enquiry Form (HEF) each year, confirming who is registered. We also need to know if there are any changes to your details (e.g. name change following marriage).

I’ve moved

Then you will need to re-register by going online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote or contacting the elections office.