To be able to vote at any election or referendum, you need to be on the Electoral Register. You can register at any time throughout the year and once you are registered you do not need to re-register unless you move.
The quickest way to register to vote is online. It takes about five minutes and you will need your national insurance number.
If you are not on the register, you must register by the election registration deadline to be able to vote at that election.
Ways To Vote
You need to show your photo ID to vote at a polling station.
If you choose to vote in person at your polling station you will be sent a poll card before the election with details of where your polling station is. You do not need your poll card to vote. You will need to provide your photo ID and you will be asked to confirm your name and address to the staff at the polling station.
Voting by post is a quick, easy and secure alternative to voting at a polling station. Anyone who is registered to vote can apply for a postal vote, you do not need a reason to vote by post.
You can apply to vote by post at any time but we recommend you apply as early as possible so that your application is received before any election deadline date.
When applying to vote by post, you must provide your date of birth and signature - these are checked against the completed postal vote pack at an election to keep your vote secure. Your national insurance number must also be provided when applying to vote by post. This is due to a change in electoral law which requires your identity to be verified when applying to vote by post.
You can also download a postal application form from the gov.uk website.
Please note that you must print the form and provide your physical ("wet") signature using black ink before you return your form. If you do not have access to a printer, please contact us and we will post an application form to you.
If you are unable to provide a signature on your postal vote application form due to a disability or an illness, you may be eligible to have the requirement for you to provide your signature on your form waived. Please contact us to request a postal vote waiver application form. The waiver application form will mean someone else can assist on your behalf and you will not have to sign the form or the postal vote pack as it will be waived.
You can appoint another person to vote on your behalf in person at the polling station. A person appointed to vote on behalf of another elector is known as a proxy.
An appointed proxy must be 18 years old or older and currently registered to vote at an address in the UK.
A person can only be appointed as a proxy for up to two people living in the UK, or a maximum of four people, with two people living in the UK and two people registered as living overseas.
There are three main options if you want to apply for a proxy vote:
- You can apply for a proxy vote for one election.
- You can apply for a permanent vote if you are unable to vote at a polling station for certain reasons including medical issues or disability, attendance at an education course or work commitments.
- During an election period, an application can be made for an emergency proxy in certain circumstances and detailed information on this can be found here under the emergency proxy section.
The person you choose to vote on your behalf will need to go to your polling station to vote and will need to show their own photo ID to be able to cast your vote. They will not need to show your ID when voting on your behalf. Alternatively the person you choose to vote on your behalf can apply for a postal vote. When you submit your proxy application a form to request a postal vote will be sent to the person you choose to vote on your behalf.
You must provide your national insurance number when applying to vote by proxy. This is due to a change to electoral law, which requires your identity to be verified when applying to vote by proxy.
Please note that you must print the form and provide your physical ("wet") signature using black ink before you return your form. If you do not have access to a printer, please contact us and we will post the application form to you.
Inspecting the electoral register
You can inspect the electoral register at the Council Offices, Argyle Road, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 1HG.
To make an appointment to inspect the register please contact the Electoral Services team using the details at the bottom of this page.
What you need to know when inspecting the electoral register
- You will be asked to read and sign a declaration making you aware of the restrictions to using information held on the electoral register
- Your inspection will be supervised
- You may only make hand-written notes (the taking of photographs, photocopies or using a dictaphone are not allowed)
Failure to observe the above conditions may result in a fine of up to £5,000.