Register and how to vote
You can register to vote if you are:
- 16 years old or over (you can only vote once you are 18)
- a qualifying Commonwealth citizen resident in the UK
- an EU citizen resident in the UK
- A qualifying Commonwealth citizen is someone who has leave to enter or remain in the UK, or does not require such leave.
For details on registering as a service voter or overseas elector, please see the Electoral Commission.
How you can vote
You can vote in person, by post or ask someone to vote on your behalf (proxy vote). See the downloads and links section.
If you would like to cancel an existing postal or proxy voting arrangement, use the form in the downloads section.
If you are setting up or cancelling any current arrangements because of an election or referendum, please refer to our forthcoming elections or referendums web page as statutory deadline dates may apply.
In person at the polling station
If you are registered to vote, a poll card will be sent to you a few days before the election. Your card tells you where your polling station is and when it will be open. You do not need your poll card to vote although it will help the staff at the polling station if you bring it with you.
You will be allocated to a polling station. If you would like to find out where your usual polling station is, please contact the Electoral Services team on 0300 456 0112.
Please visit GOV.UK for more information about how to vote in person..
Frequently asked questions
Every ballot paper has a unique serial number and by law, a record is kept of every serial number issued to each voter. The copy of the register used in the polling station is already marked to show who has a postal or proxy vote. The poll clerk on duty will put a small mark against your name to show you have voted and to make sure that nobody tries to vote at the station pretending to be you.
At the close of poll, documents which list the serial numbers of the ballot papers and who they have been issued to are sealed in special packets and cannot be opened without a court order. This enables checks should a legal challenge be made to the result of the election.
It is very rare for the documents to be examined except in cases where fraud or impersonation (i.e someone voting illegally on someone else's behalf) are being investigated. Because of these safeguards, it is virtually impossible for any person to be in a position to match the voter to a particular ballot paper. For that reason, voters can be confident that the ballot remains secret.
Instead of using a household form to register to vote, everyone is responsible for their own registration.
IER has been introduced nationally to help tackle electoral fraud. The system also means that people can register online, making it easier for you to make sure you are registered.
You will be asked to provide identifying information such as a date of birth and your national insurance number. This means your application is verified before you are added to the register and reduces the risk of fraud and inaccurate entries on the register.
Once registered, you will receive a letter to let you know that either:
- you have been successfully transferred to the IER register and do not need to do anything further
- you need to provide additional information to the electoral registration officer in order to be registered under IER
If we cannot verify your application after you have provided your National Insurance number and date of birth, we will write to you requesting further information.
To verify who you are, you will be required to provide evidence of your identity such as a driving licence or passport. You do not have to send us original documents, photocopies are acceptable. Once we receive the evidence we can then process your application.
Emergency Proxy Voting
You may be able to apply for an emergency proxy vote for employment or medical reasons. To qualify, you will have only been made aware of the circumstances after 5pm six working days before the polling day. You can apply from this time and up to 5pm on polling day itself.
To apply, you must be registered and your appointed proxy must meet the following criteria:
- Registered to vote
- Eligible to vote in this particular type of poll
- Cannot act on behalf of more than two people at any one election, unless they are a close relative
To apply for an emergency proxy please contact the Electoral Services Team on 0300 456 0112 or download the emergency proxy application. If you are applying for a postal or proxy vote during an election timetable which is already running, specific deadline dates will apply.
The electoral register explained
The electoral register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in public elections. The register is used for 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.
It is a criminal offence for anyone to supply or use the register for anything else.
The current full electoral register is available for inspection under supervision at our four main council offices:
- Trowbridge - County Hall, Trowbridge, BA14 8JN
- Devizes - Devizes Community Hub and Library, Sheep Street, Devizes, SN10 1DL
- Salisbury - The Council Offices, Bourne Hill, Salisbury, SP1 3UZ
- Chippenham - The Council Offices, Monkton Park, SN15 1ER
The open register is an extract of the electoral register but it 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.
You can find more information about both registers and how they may be used on the GOV.UK website.
Your name and address will be included in the open register unless you ask for them to be removed. You can remove your details at any time by contacting us. Please provide your name and address and state that you wish to be removed from the open register.
Email us: email@example.com
Call us on: 0300 456 0112
Write to us:
Electoral Registration Officer
If you would like to buy the open register or any part of it, please contact the Electoral Registration office on 0300 456 0112.
Rolling registration means you can register at any time of the year. The dates below show when your details will appear on the electoral register, subject to successful verification under the Individual Electronic Registration (IER) process. If you wish to register for a local election in your area, you can register up to 12 days before the poll.
|Qualify Date||Publish Date|
Friday 11 December 2020
Monday 4 January 2021
Friday 8 January 2021
|Monday 1 February 2021|
Friday 5 February 2021
|Monday 1 March 2021|
Wednesday 10 March 2021
Thursday 1 April 2021
Friday 26 March 2021
Thursday 8 April 2021
Monday 19 April 2021
Wednesday 28 April 2021
Monday 12 April 2021
Tuesday 4 May 2021
Monday 10 May 2021
Tuesday 1 June 2021
Wednesday 9 June 2021
Thursday 1 July 2021
Friday 9 July 2021
Monday 2 August 2021
Tuesday 10 August 2021
Wednesday 1 September 2021
0300 456 0112