Electoral Registration

Electoral Registration


Registering to vote 

In order to vote, your name must be on the electoral register. Not everybody is entitled to become or remain registered, as this will depend on:

  • nationality
  • age
  • immigration status
  • whether the person is resident at the address where he or she wants to be registered.

There is no automatic registration of electors from other records, such as council tax. Registering to vote is now dealt with through Individual Electoral Registration (read below to learn more about the process).  It is easy to do online and takes around five minutes. Simply visit the Government's voter registration page and follow the instructions. If you require a paper form, email elections@arun.gov.uk with your name and address and we'll send you one. Following your application, you will be contacted by the electoral registration office either to confirm your registration or to request further details.  

To find out more about eligibility to vote and registration deadlines, please see the who can vote? section at the bottom of this page. 

Please read our:  Electoral Services Privacy Notice [pdf] 134KB

Individual Electoral Registration process

Each applicant will be asked to give their:

  • name
  • address and previous address
  • nationality
  • 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 clarify any element of their application or to ask the applicant to provide documentary evidence, such as a passport, to support their application.

Change your details

Changing your address can be done using the Government's voter registration page and selecting the relevant option. Alternatively, please email elections@arun.gov.uk and ask for a paper form to be sent to you. If you need to update your name, you can do this using our change of details form [pdf] 166KB, which can be downloaded and printed. Alternatively, please email elections@arun.gov.uk and we will send you a form. You will need to provide supporting evidence, such as a marriage or civil partnership certificate, deed poll or an amended birth certificate.

If you have changed your name and have also moved address, you should make a fresh registration application using the secure online service described above. Your name, date of birth and national insurance number will be verified against other records, and if your name is not verified you will be asked to provide evidence of your identity.

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 elections@arun.gov.uk 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. Find out more about the electoral and open registers.


Other ways of voting

Register for a postal vote

Voting by post enables you to cast your vote without needing to visit a polling station on election day, and you can read more about postal votes at the About My Vote site. You will need to complete and return a postal vote application form.pdf [pdf] 25KB, stating where you would like the ballot paper to be sent and for how long you will require the postal vote. Regulations require applicants to supply a date of birth and current signature to help prevent fraudulent claims. If you are unable to supply a current signature please contact Electoral Services.

If you are planning to use a postal vote for the 2 May 2019 election, please be aware that if we receive your application before 5pm on Friday 29 March 2019 we will send your postal pack first class on Tuesday 16 April 2019.

If your application arrives between 30 March 2019 and 5pm on Monday 15 April 2019 (the deadline) we will send your postal pack first class on Thursday 18 April 2019.

If you are going to be away when we send the postal pack out to you, we can send it to your holiday/work destination (we just need you to let us know the address). Alternatively, you can apply for someone to vote on your behalf as your proxy. Please call our helpline on 01903 737616 for further details.


How to complete your postal voting pack for 2 May 2019 elections

Please use the following link for a video on how to complete your postal voting pack: https://www.youtube.com/embed/gJIxy85ni2A

Register for a proxy vote

Voting by proxy means appointing someone you trust to vote on your behalf and you can find out more information at the About My Vote site. A proxy vote is usually for a specific election. Please use our  proxy application form [pdf] 22K. If you require the application for an indefinite period of time you will need to give a reason for the application and have the application supported by a suitable qualified person as listed in the notes supplied with the form. Please contact the Elections office on 01903 737616 should you wish to apply for a permanent proxy vote.

Emergency proxy votes

Under certain circumstances, for example due to illness or employment reasons, you can apply for an emergency proxy vote. If you are suddenly physically incapacitated or taken ill, after 5.00pm on the 6th working day before the election, you can apply to vote by proxy for medical reasons up until 5.00pm on polling day, an application form will need to be supported by a suitable qualified person as listed in the notes supplied with the form. Please use the  emergency proxy application due to occupation.pdf [pdf] 181KB or  emergency proxy application due to illness.pdf [pdf] 101KB.

Postal Proxy

Your proxy would need to complete an application form for a postal proxy. Please contact the Elections office to discuss this. At the time of an election postal proxy vote applications must be received in the elections office by no later than 5.00pm on the 11th working day before the election. Postal proxy ballot papers will be sent out 7 – 10 days before the day of the election.


Who can vote?

Eligibility to vote

Generally, to be included in the Register of Electors a person must be:

  • Resident in Arun District on the date of the application.
  • A British, Irish or qualifying Commonwealth CitizenThis means Commonwealth citizens who have leave to remain in the UK or do not require such leave.
  • A Citizen of another member state of the European Union. European Union citizens can also apply separately to vote in European Parliamentary Elections in the UK.
  • 16 years or over (but you cannot vote until you are 18).


Students may register at both their home address and their college or university address. It is not an offence to register twice, but you may only vote once in any election.

Overseas electors

If you are a British citizen living outside the UK but you were resident and registered as an elector in the UK during the past 15 years, you can apply to be registered as an overseas elector. Overseas electors can vote in UK Parliamentary and European Parliamentary elections, but are not eligible to vote in local elections. Please email elections@arun.gov.uk and request an overseas elector application form.

Crown Servants, British Council and service personnel overseas

People employed by the government or the British Council to work overseas for considerable periods, and members of the armed forces posted overseas, can apply to join the electoral register. Please email elections@arun.gov.uk and request an application form. Public servants posted overseas can also register to vote using the government's secure online registration system and following the relevant link.

People with no fixed address

You can still register to vote even if you have no fixed address, for example if you are homeless, a remand prisoner, or a patient in a mental health hospital. Please email elections@arun.gov.uk and we will provide you with the relevant application form. 

Registration deadline dates for 2018/19

Deadline Date Included on Register From
Tuesday 11 December 2018 Wednesday 2 January 2019
Thursday 10 January 2019 Friday 1 February 2019
Thursday 7 February 2019 Friday 1 March 2019
Friday 8 March 2019 Monday 1 April 2019
Friday 12 April 2019 Thursday 25 April 2019
Friday 10 May 2019 Monday 3 June 2019
Friday 7 June 2019 Monday 1 July 2019
Wednesday 10 July 2019 Thursday 1 August 2019
Friday 9 August 2019 Monday 2 September 2019