Register to Vote
People are finding that credit reference agencies and banks are using the Electoral Register to approve mortgages, loans, credit cards and even mobile phone contracts!
... but the ultimate reason for compiling the Electoral Register is to enable you to vote at elections and referendums. The way you register to vote changed from 10 June 2014. The new system is called 'Individual Electoral Registration' (IER) and is the biggest change to the voter registration system in 100 years.
Individual Electoral Registration (IER)
Individual Electoral Registration was introduced nationally in 2014 to help tackle electoral fraud and enable online registration, which makes it easier and more convenient for you to register to vote.
Changes to the way you register
Before Individual Electoral Registration was introduced, one person in every household was responsible for registering all residents at that address during the 'annual canvass'.
From 10 June 2014, each person needs to register to vote individually, providing their national insurance number and date of birth as 'identifying information'. If you are unable to supply this information, there are alternative forms of official evidence which can be accepted.
You need to register individually online if you have not already done so. You also need to register online every time you move address or if you change your name. It takes about 3 minutes to register under the new system. You can register to vote here.
If you are not able to register online, we can provide paper forms on request. Please let us know if you need a paper form.
How can I find out if I am registered?
Most people (unless you have just moved to Torfaen) will have received information from us at various stages, whether a Household Enquiry Form, an Invitation to Register, a confirmation letter, a query letter (asking for evidence of your identity if needed), a poll card, a postal vote or some other communication.
If you have not received any of these or do not know if you are registered, call Torfaen Council on 01495 762200 or email email@example.com.
What and when is the Annual Canvass?
The annual canvass is when we write to everyone who is on the electoral register, asking people to confirm or amend their details. We also send forms to empty properties, in case someone has moved in since we last canvassed. The annual canvass takes place from July each year. Please respond to the canvass promptly (by telephone or internet if the details shown on the forms we send you are already correct) and/or complete any forms or online registration if necessary.
The annual enquiry form will allow you to:
- correct any mistakes
- add people in your household to the register (for example, your children may have reached 14)
- apply for a postal vote
- opt-out of the edited register
It is important that you act on this form. If you don’t complete the form, you will be removed from the electoral register and you won’t be able to vote and it will be harder for you to get credit.
If there are no changes you can respond by freephone, text, on-line or by post. Any changes can only be made by returning the form or on-line at www.register-online.co.uk.
Find out more
Further information is available from the Electoral Commission website.
If you live in Torfaen and wish to check whether you are currently registered to vote, call 01495 762200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
To be included on the Register you must be:
- A British Citizen, Commonwealth Citizen, Irish Citizen or a citizen of one of the Member States of the European Union or a Foreign National
- Living at an address in the Torfaen County Borough Council area
- Aged 16 or over, or 14/15 but reaching 16 during the time the Register is in force.
It is a legal requirement for all eligible citizens to register.
If you are a British Citizen and are thinking of living abroad you may still be able to register to vote at Parliamentary Elections from your last registered address. Your right to vote at British Parliamentary Elections can last up to 15 years. You can vote by post or vote by proxy.
Other special category electors
You can also register to vote here if you have a local connection to Torfaen but you have no permanent or fixed address, if you are homeless, if you are a remand prisoner or if you are voluntarily resident in a mental hospital.
HM Forces, Crown Servants and British Council employees
A member of Her Majesty's Forces and their spouse or civil partner may register as a service voter. Crown Servants and British Council employees who are abroad, and their spouse of civil partner, may also register as a service voter. If this applies to you, please register to vote here.
If you feel that you are at risk by your name appearing on the register of electors you can apply to be entered anonymously and if your application is accepted your name and address will not appear on the register, only your electoral number. Any person living with you can also apply to vote in this way.
You will need to complete a form, give reasons, provide documentary evidence and have your application supported by either:
- a police officer of or above the rank of inspector for any police force in England and Wales
- the Director General of the Security Service
- the Director General of the National Crime Agency
- any director of adult social services within the meaning of section 6(A1) of the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970
- any registered medical practitioner
- any registered nurse or midwife
- any person who manages a refuge. A ‘refuge’ means accommodation with a planned programme of therapeutic and practical support for victims of, or those at risk of domestic abuse or violence
The qualifying officer does not have to be based in the same area as you, but the supporting documentation cannot be signed by a more junior person within their organisation.
To apply to register anonymously please contact the Electoral Registration Team.
Last Modified: 15/06/2020
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