Individual Electoral Registration
The way in which people register to vote is changing.
New registration arrangements and verification of applicants’ identities
From 10 June 2014, all new registration applications can only be done individually.
Each applicant will be asked to give their:
address and previous address
date of birth
national insurance number
Each applicant’s details will be checked against other records to verify their identity before the registration office can approve their application.
The introduction of individual registration is to help address concerns about potential fraud, and each person’s identity needs to be verified before becoming registered.
If a person’s name, date of birth and national insurance number are not verified after they have applied to be registered, the electoral registration office will contact them:
either to clarity any element of their application
or to ask the applicant to provide documentary evidence, such as a passport, to support their application.
Quicker and easier registration
Electoral registration can now be done online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote alternatively it is possible to register over the telephone by contacting our customer services or the electoral registration office. If people prefer they can complete a paper application, which can be downloaded from the website below or the registration office will send one on request.
Initial identity checking for all current electors
Every current elector’s name and address will also be checked against other records in order to verify the majority of people at the start of transition to individual registration.
This will take place in late June and early July 2014, and will use secure and tested data matching processes. Once each person’s identity has been checked, the majority of electors will have had their identity ‘confirmed’.
Each elector whose details has been matched against other records will be sent a letter between July and August 2014 advising that:
their identity has been confirmed
and that they do not need to do anything about their registration unless their circumstances change, such as moving home or changing their name.
Each elector whose identity has not been matched against other records will be sent an invitation between July and August 2014 to make a fresh application to register as an elector.
They will be given an individual application form, and asked either to complete and return the form or to register online.
Those who do not respond will be sent a reminder, and we will also send a canvasser to encourage them to register.
Failure to respond to these invitations is likely to affect people’s ability to vote at the Parliamentary general election in May 2015.
There will be some households with a mix of confirmed and unconfirmed electors. This is expected because of the nature of the other records being used to verify people’s identity.
Each unconfirmed elector still needs to make a fresh application, even if somebody else at their address doesn’t.
The household form
Every year households are required to complete a household form, which will now be referred to as the household enquiry form.
As we are writing to every elector this summer we are not also sending them a household enquiry form. This is because they can respond to our letter telling us:
If people have ceased to live at their address
Or if there are new residents who need to apply for registration
Between July and August 2014 we will send a household enquiry form to every address where we do not have anybody registered. The householders are required by law to give the required information.
We will also be sending the household forms to some addresses in multiple-occupancy.
When the forms are returned any new potential electors will be sent invitations to become registered. From summer 2015 all households will be sent a household enquiry form every year.
The electoral register and the open register
Every person applying to become registered is asked to choose whether to have their details excluded from the open register.
Any elector can contact us at email@example.com at any time to ask us to remove their details from the open register. You will need to specify your name and address and that you want your details excluded from it.
Exclusion from the open register will not affect your voting rights or credit status.
Contact the Taunton Deane and West Somerset Shared Electoral Services Office
West Somerset House
Telephone: 01643 703704