A wide range of electoral events take place in Ealing, from the UK Parliamentary General election, the council and European Parliament elections to referendums on neighbourhood planning or the governance arrangements for the council. To have your say in any of these elections you must be registered to vote – registering is not automatic and signing up to other council services, such as council tax, does not entitle you to vote.
Changes to the way you register to vote
The way people register to vote in England and Wales has changed. The new system, called Individual Electoral Registration (IER), requires each person to register to vote individually, rather than by household.
The identity of each person will need to be verified before being added to the register. When applying to register you must provide your date of birth and national insurance number.
Once you have registered under IER your registration is continuous until you move to a different address or are no longer eligible to remain registered.
The new online registration process is quicker and more convenient. It's also more secure because you need to provide your national insurance number and date of birth before you are added to the register.
How to register
In order to register, please go to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote and complete your registration online. Please make sure that you have your national insurance number to hand, as you will need this to complete your online registration.
Alternatively, contact the electoral services office and ask for a form to be sent to you:
Tel: (020) 8825 7777
In order to register you must meet the following three basic criteria:
Only residents whose nationality is either British or Irish, or who are from an EU country such as Poland or Romania can register. Citizens from qualifying Commonwealth countries such as India or Pakistan can also register but only if they have leave to remain in the UK.
Residents who do not hold citizenship from one of these countries are not entitled to register, even if they are allowed to live in the UK
Only people who are over 18 are allowed to vote in elections. 16 and 17 year olds can register but cannot vote; if you are 16 or 17 you should make sure that you are registered – this will mean that you can vote as soon as you turn 18.
You can only register at the address where you live. If you do not live at an address you cannot register there, even if you own the property or pay council tax on it.
If you have a second home you may be able to register at both addresses provided you spend an equal amount of time living in both. Please contact the electoral services office for advice.
Students are legally entitled to register at both their term time and home addresses. They must register at one address but can choose whether to register at their second address or not.
Moved into a new address or not included on the register?
If you move into a new address in the borough, your name has not been included on the register or your personal details have changed, you can go to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote or contact the electoral services office to send you a form. When we receive your completed application form we will add your details to the next update to the register.
The electoral register
Using information received from the public, registration officers keep two registers – the electoral register and the open register (also known as the edited register). The electoral register is used for the conduct of elections and is available to view (under supervision) in the Central Library and Ealing Town Hall. The open register which can be purchased, can be viewed in libraries and Ealing Town Hall.
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
- 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 not affect your right to vote.
If you would like a list of all the organisations and individuals who are supplied with a copy of the electoral register please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about both registers and how they may be used go to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.