The electoral register is a list of people who are registered to vote which is maintained by the elections team at your local authority. Usually between mid-August and mid-November registration forms are sent to every house in the county to update the register. However, in 2013 this will happen between mid-October and January 2014. This process is known as the annual canvass
You can still register during the year between October and January by a process known as rolling registration. You can register to vote by downloading the application form below.
You should register to vote if you are:
- 16 or over (you cannot vote until your 18th birthday);
- a British or commonwealth citizen ; or
- a citizen of the Irish republic or of another EU state.
Citizens of EU member states can not vote in UK Parliamentary elections and must fill in a separate form to vote in the European elections.
For details on registering as a Service Voter or Overseas elector, please go to the Electoral Commission website.
Why should I register?
Legally the Electoral Registration Officer has to obtain information for every household each year, and legally the householder is required to provide it. It is therefore an offence to withhold information or supply misleading information.
The Register of Electors is the definitive document about who is allowed to vote. If you are not on it, you cannot vote. Although some people may not be too worried about that, at least if you are on the register you have the choice about whether to vote or not, e.g. if there were to be a snap referendum on any matter. The right to cast your vote is a right which was not always easily won over the years, and even now is not available in all parts of the world. Elections, especially local elections, often come down to a dead heat or a difference of only a few votes between candidates and parties. Every one counts.
On a wider level, the register is used by a number of people for all kinds of reasons. The edited register aims to prevent widespread abuse of the data for commercial gain, but perhaps the widest legitimate use of the full register is by the credit reference agencies when assessing credit ratings. It is one of a number of tests, but people who are not on the register often have difficulty obtaining loans, mortgages or simply opening a bank account.
Find out if you are registered to vote
You can find out whether you are already registered to vote using our online electoral roll enquiry form
The electoral service team maintain two versions of the electoral register, a full and an edited version.
The full electoral register
The full register lists everyone who has registered to vote. Only certain people and organisations are allowed copies of the full register to use for specific purposes only. These include electoral purposes, the prevention and detection of crime and checking your identity when applying for credit.
It is a criminal offence for these copies to be passed to anyone else or used for any other purpose. The full list of authorised users can be found in the Representation of the People (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2002.
The register is available for inspection under supervision at our four main Council Offices:
- County Hall, Reception, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge, Wiltshire BA14 8JN
- Council Offices, Crossmolina Buildings, Snuff Street, Devizes, Wiltshire SN10 1FG
- Council Offices, 27-29 Milford Street, Salisbury SP1 2AP
- Council Offices, Monkton Park, Chippenham, Wiltshire SN15 1ER
The edited register
The edited register lists everyone who has registered to vote and has not asked to be excluded from this register. It can be bought by anyone who asks for a copy and they can use it for any purpose.
You can ask for your name and address not to appear in the edited register, by ticking the appropriate column on your application form.
If you would like to purchase the edited register or any part of it, please contact the Electoral Registration office on 0300 456 0112 who will advise you of the costs and discuss your requirements.
Since May 2001 anyone can apply for inclusion on the Register of Electors at any time during the year.
To register, you need to fill in an application to register as an Elector and return it to the Electoral Services Team.
The dates below show when your details will appear on the register after sending in an application.
|Applications received by||Date added to register|
|Friday 7 February 2014||Monday 3 March 2014|
|Monday 10 March 2014||Tuesday 1 April 2014|
|Wednesday 9 April 2014||Thursday 1 May 2014|
|Friday 9 May 2014||Tuesday 2 June 2014|
|Monday 9 June 2014||Tuesday 1 July 2014|
|Thursday 10 July 2014||Friday 1 August 2014|
|Friday 8 August 2014||Monday 1 September 2014|
Please be aware that application forms received after 10 October 2013 will be processed but the information will not be added to the Electoral Register until it is re-published on 17 February 2014. This is because of the Annual Canvass taking place during this period.
Please note if you wish to register because of an election in your area, you can register up to 12 days before the day of poll.
Please see our forthcoming elections page for current elections.
Last updated: 3 February 2014