Everyone is individually responsible to register to vote. It is quick and easy, especially if you register on line:
- Go to the gov.uk website (opens in a new window) to register to vote.
- Fill in your name, address, date of birth and your national insurance number. This can be found on your national insurance card, if you have one, or on official paperwork such as payslips, or letters about benefits or tax credits. We need your national insurance number to add your name to the electoral register. If you cannot provide it, you will be asked for additional evidence of your identity.
- Look out for a confirmation letter to say you're registered.
If you prefer you can request a printed form from the Electoral Services team.
Who can register to vote?
To be eligible to register to vote a person must be:
- Over 16 (but you cannot vote until your 18th birthday)
- a British, Irish or Commonwealth citizen
- a citizen of the European Union, and living at an address in the Mansfield District for at least six months of the year
- a member of the armed forces
- a spouse or civil partner of a member of the armed forces
- a British citizen living abroad for less than 15 years
- a student living away from home.
Why is it important to register?
- If you don't register, you can't vote which means you won't have a say on important issues that affect you.
- Elections can be called at short notice, and if you're not registered you won't be able to vote.
- Failing to register can also affect your chances of getting credit, as many companies use the voters list to verify your details.
- You may be fined if you don't.
The electoral register and the open register
There are two versions of the electoral register - the electoral register and the open register (also known as the edited register).
The electoral register lists the name and address 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
- calling people for jury service
- checking credit applications.
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 are concerned that having your name or address on the register may affect your safety, there could be other options available to you. In certain circumstances, you can register without your name and address showing on the register. To find out more, please contact the Electoral Services office. You can find more information about both registers and how they may be used on the gov.uk website (opens in a new window).