Electoral Registration

Electoral Registration

Registering to vote - how to register

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.

Registering to vote is is easy to do online and takes around five minutes. Simply visit  www.gov.uk/register-to-vote 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. Alternatively you can ring our Elections Helpline on 01903 737616 and register over the phone.  Following your application, you will be contacted by the electoral registration office either to confirm your registration or to request further details.  

There is no automatic registration of electors from other records, such as council tax or housing records.

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


If you would like to sign up to receive election and registration doucmentation via email please follow this link: https://www1.arun.gov.uk/officeforms/Elections_EmailRegistration.ofml (Please note that some documentation has to be sent via post as per the legislation).

If you would like to unsubscribe from receiving emails from the Electoral Services department please follow this link: https://www1.arun.gov.uk/officeforms/Elections_EmailUnsubscribe.ofml


Please read our: Electoral Services Privacy Notice

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. 

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

If you move, you will need to complete a new registration for your new address - see above for information on how to register. If you need to update your name, you can do this using our change of name 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 registration details 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.  You will need to complete and return a  Postal Vote Application Form.pdf [pdf] 81KB , 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

Register for a proxy vote

Voting by proxy means appointing someone you trust to vote on your behalf .  A proxy vote is usually for a specific election. Please use our   Proxy Vote Application Form.pdf [pdf] 200KB . 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.


Please send applications to:

Electoral Services

Arun District Council

Arun Civic Centre

Maltravers Road


BN17 5LF


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. 

More information on electoral registration and absent voting can be found at https://www.yourvotematters.co.uk/.

Electoral Registration Deadline Dates 2020/2021

Deadline Date

Included on the Electoral Register from

Wednesday 11 December 2020

Monday 4 January 2021

Friday 8 January 2021

Monday 1 February 2021

Friday 5 February 2021

Monday 1 March 2021

Wednesday 10 March 2021

Thursday 1 April 2021

Monday 12 April 2021

Thursday 4 May 2021

Monday 10 May 2021

Tuesday 1 June 2021

Wednesday 9 June 2021

Thursday 1 July 2021

Friday 9 July 2021

Monday 2 August 2021

Tuesday 10 August 2021

Wednesday 1 September 2021

Applications between Wednesday 11 August and Monday 22 November 2021

Wednesday 1 December 2021

The Annual Canvass

Each year councils are required to undertake an annual canvass in order to update the electoral register, which is published on 1 December each year.  For more information on Arun's annual canvass, please see https://www.arun.gov.uk/canvass.