Electoral registration frequently asked questions.

Why should I register to vote?

  • You must be on the electoral register to vote in future elections and referendums.
  • By law, you must respond to an invitation to register to vote or you could be fined up to £80.
  • If you are not on the register you may find it harder to get a loan, mortgage, finance agreement, or even a mobile phone contract as the register is used by credit reference agencies.

Your registration does NOT follow you when you change your address – you will therefore need to re-register at your new address.

I have applied – when will I be added to the register?

The electoral register is updated every month (except in the months of October and November due to the annual canvass). However there are deadlines for applications, in order to be added to the next publication applications need to be received several weeks before publication of the next register. Once your application has been received, and there are no objections (for instance if the details you provided on your application do not match with DWP records), we will write to you to tell you that your application has been successful and on what date you will be added to the register.

The rolling registration dates for 2018 are:

Publication dates:

  • Tuesday 2 January 2018 (for those applied by Monday 11 December 2017)
  • Thursday 1 February 2018 (for those appliced by Wednesday 10 January 2018)
  • Thursday 1 March 2018 (for those applied by Wednesday 7 February 2018)
  • Tuesday 3 April 2018 (for those applied by Monday 12 March 2018)
  • Tuesday 1 May 2018 (for those applied by Monday 9 April 2018)
  • Friday 1 June 2018 (for those applied by Thursday 10 May 2018)
  • Monday 2 July 2018 (for those applied by Friday 8 June 2018)
  • Wednesday 1 August 2018 (for those applied by Tuesday 10 July 2018)
  • Monday 3 September 2018 (for those applied by Friday 10 August 2018)

Am I on the electoral register? (check if you’re already registered)

You cannot check online whether you are on the electoral register.

You will need to contact us to confirm this information. Call 01582 510380 to check if you're already registered to vote. You CANNOT check for someone else.

How do I change my name on the electoral register?

You can change your name on the electoral register using the register to vote service on the GOV.UK website. Alternatively, you can provide a COPY of your change of name documents (i.e. deed poll, marriage certificate etc.) to Electoral Services and we will change your name on the electoral register. Please contact 01582 510380 to request a change of name form.

I have received a letter “Notice of Type A Review” – what does this mean?

Notice of Type A Review letters are sent out to electors that we believe are no longer living at the property address. This is based on information we have received. These letters are the start of the removal process of a person from the electoral register (ie they are not just instantly removed). If you have received one of these letters and are still resident at the address, contact Electoral Services on 01582 546090 to advise this is the case.

I have received a letter asking for documentary evidence – what does this mean?

If the information you have provided on your application does not match with the DWP (for instance, date of birth or National Insurance number), we will then write to you and request further documentary evidence. The form details what documentation is accepted.

My credit report shows that I am not on the electoral register, what can I do?

If you have a query regarding registration and why you are not showing on the electoral register on your credit report, you can contact Electoral Services 01582 546090. We will check to see if you are on the register at the address you give us over the phone. If you are on the register then you will be referred back to your credit reference agency. Monthly updates are sent to the credit reference agencies and it is then the agencies responsibility to update their records accordingly. Please see the Information Commissioner's Office for more information.

I wish to inspect the electoral register – how can I do this?

If you wish to view the electoral register you can do this by contacting the Electoral Registration Department 01582 546090. It is not possible to do a search by name, you must provide the address you wish to view. We will then arrange with you a suitable appointment time for you to come into the Town Hall and view the register. Details of occupants on the register CANNOT be given over the phone. You can also view the open register at Luton Library, however this only contains electors who have opted in to the open register.

Can 16 and 17 year olds register?

Some 16 (depending on date of birth) and all 17 year olds are eligible to go onto the electoral register. However, you can only vote when you become 18.

For this electoral registration year (1 December 2017 to 30 November 2018) - If you were born before 1st December 2001 then you will be able to register.

What is the open register?

The open register is an extract of the electoral register, but is not used for elections. It can be purchased by any person, company or organisation. For example, it is used by businesses and charities to confirm name and address details. Your name will be included in the open register unless you ask for it to be removed (opt out).

Removing your details from the open register does not affect your right to vote and this will also not affect the information that still goes to the credit reference agencies.

The open register can be viewed at:

The Central Library
St Georges Square
Luton
LU1 2NG
T: 01582 547418

How do I opt out of the open register?

If you’re already registered to vote you can take your name off the open register using our form. You will still be able to vote. You can choose if you want your details on the open register when you register to vote.

Alternatively you can email our office with your request at: electoralservices@luton.gov.uk

How do I check if I am opted out of the open register?

You can check if you are already opted out by contacting us on 01582 546090 or emailing electoralservices@luton.gov.uk.

How can I vote if I am homeless?

You can vote if you are homeless by making a declaration of local connection. Please contact Electoral Services on 01582 546090 for more information.

How do I vote as a student?

Students are entitled to register at both their home address and university (during term time) address if it is a different electoral area. As a student you can be registered at more than one address.

YOU CANNOT VOTE MORE THAN ONCE IN ANY ELECTION – THIS IS AN OFFENCE

Please register online at www.gov.uk/registertovote , or contact your local office on 01582 510380 to request a paper registration form (ITR).

I am living overseas – how can I vote?

For general information and forms please see Your Vote Matters - living overseas

To speak direct to the Luton office please contact us on 01582 546090 or you can email us at electoralservices@luton.gov.uk

I am in the armed forces – how can I vote?

For general information and forms please see Your Vote Matters - armed forces

To speak direct to the Luton office please contact us on 01582 546090 or you can email us at electoralservices@luton.gov.uk

I wish to remain anonymous – how can I vote?

Please contact your local authority to request a form to register anonymously. There are certain criteria you must fulfil in order to be able to register anonymously. You can call us on 01582 546090 or email us at electoralservices@luton.gov.uk Or alternatively see voting anonymously .

How do I vote at a polling station?

Most people will vote at a polling station. They are open from 7am to 10pm on the day of elections.

Your local polling station will be printed on your poll card which you will receive before an election. If you do not receive this you can contact us on 01582 510380 and we will be able to tell you where your local polling station is.

How can I vote by post?

If you are unable to get to the polling station, you can apply using a postal vote application (PDF 11.2KB)

Once you have completed the postal voting form, please return it to:

Electoral Services
Town Hall
George Street
Luton
LU1 2BQ

For security, you’ll need to tell us your date of birth and sign the application. We’ll send you a postal voting statement with your ballot papers, and we check the details are the same on your completed statement when you post it back.

If you register to vote by post, you won’t be able to vote at a polling station. But, you can hand your postal ballot paper to the presiding officer at any polling station within your constituency area.

Please follow the below link for more information: voting by post.

How can I vote by proxy?

Voting by proxy means you appoint someone you trust to vote on your behalf. It’s useful if you can’t get to the polling station on election day. If circumstances change, you can still vote in the polling station, if your proxy is not voting for you by post.

If you have just had a medical emergency arise that means you cannot go to the polling station in person, you can apply to vote by emergency proxy.

To find out more about voting by proxy and find a form to complete please visit Your Vote Matters.

Once you have completed the proxy voting form, please return it to:

Electoral Services
Town Hall
George Street
Luton
LU1 2BQ

What is the postal vote refresh?

In the month of January we carry out a postal vote refresh. This is where electors who have had postal votes in place for 5 years, will be asked to provide us with a refreshed signature. Signatures may change and this is why we ask for this again to keep our records as accurate as they can be. If you do not respond to this then your postal vote will be cancelled and you will need to re-apply should you wish to still have a postal vote.

What is a housing notification letter (HNL)?

This is a letter that is sent out to ALL properties within the Luton Borough in January to give information of all the persons who we have as living at a specified address. You have the opportunity to make amendments to the information contained within this letter and return to our offices for processing. This letter is just provided for your information and if there are no changes to the persons living at the address then you do not need to respond.

How can I register at a care home?

Annually we will write to the care homes for information on the residents who are living there and who may be able to register. Care homes are contacted directly by our offices here at Luton and we liaise with the care home managers for this information as we do understand that there may be residents who lack the capacity to vote.

PRINCIPLES

  • everybody who is eligible should be registered irrespective of any illness or disability they may have
  • there should be a presumption that a person has capacity to register to vote
  • only the applicant, or a person to whom they have given power of attorney, can make the required declaration as part of an application for registration
  • it is important that vulnerable people do not lose their right to vote

You may provide assistance but the applicant must make the declaration of truth by signing or making their usual mark (in the case of the paper form) or confirm that the information is correct (for an online registration). Alternatively, a person who has an appropriate power of attorney may make the declaration on behalf of the elector.

If an elector has a physical disability that means they cannot write or type, a person can assist them to register online by doing the typing on their behalf, as long as the elector is present and can communicate that the information provided on the application is true.

If you have any questions you can contact our office directly 01582 546090 or information from the Electoral Commission can be found online here - Care Homes

I am a landlord of a HMO and have received a register of Electors Enquiry form - what do I do?

If you are a landlord / manager of a HMO we will write to you annually for information on the residents that currently live at your property who are eligible to register on the electoral register.

Once you have provided this information, we will write to the individual at the address with a registration form. This information is essential for us to keep the electoral register up to date, so please complete and return the form in the envelope provided.

How do I request a letter of proof that I am currently on the electoral register / have previously been on the electoral register at an address?

CURRENT REGISTRATION: You can request a confirmation letter as proof of your current registration.

HISTORIC REGISTRATION: You can also request proof of historic registration (at an address in Luton you have previously been registered at within the last 15 years).

There is a £10 charge for each of these letters. Please contact our call centre on 01582 510380 who will be able to check your information and get a letter requested for you. It will take 7-10 days for you to receive this letter in the post. If you wish for this letter to be posted to an address other than the one you are currently registered at, you will need to provide ID (this can be sent to us via email).

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