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Registering to Vote (IER)

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Changes to the way you register

Registering to vote is no longer be the responsibility of one person in the household during the annual canvass.  Each person will now be required to register individually, and will also need to provide their national insurance number and date of birth as 'identifying information'.  This makes the electoral register more secure.  If you are unable to supply these details you should contact the Electoral Registration Team who will be able to advise you of what steps you will need to take.


Registering Online  

Please remember that in order for your registration to be successful you will need your national insurance number and date of birth ready to enter into the system.  To register, complete this online form.


Do I need to re-register?

If you receive a Household Enquiry Form (HEF) with your details pre-printed on the form, then you simply need to confirm your details by clicking here and entering the security codes pre-printed on the form.  If your name is not included on the form, or has the word "unconfirmed" next to it, then you will need to register using this online form.


How will I know if I am registered under this new system?

If you have completed an online registration form, providing your "identifying information", then there is nothing more you need to do, unless the Electoral Registration Team contact you.  You will receive a letter confirming your registration.


Please note that the letters to electors also refer to whether the individual has opted out of the Open Register.  One way you can opt out of that Open Register is by completing the following Permanent Opt Out E-form under Section 11 of the Data Protection Act 1998.  Completed forms need to be printed, signed and returned by post or e-mailed to electoral.registration@bedford.gov.uk.  Alternatively you can contact the Electoral Registration Team and request a form to be sent to you by post.


What do I do if my details have not been verified?

If your details have not been matched against records held by Central Government, you will need to supply documentary evidence in support of your application.  Details of what can be accepted are available by available by clicking here.


There are two registers. Why?

Using information received from the public, registration officers keep two registers – the electoral register and the open register (also known as the edited register).


The electoral register

The electoral register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in public elections. The register is used for electoral purposes, such as making sure only eligible people can vote. It is also used for other limited purposes specified in law, such as detecting crime (e.g. fraud), calling people for jury service and checking credit applications.


The open register

The open register is an extract of the electoral register, but is not used for elections. It can be bought by any person, company or organisation. For example, it is used by businesses and charities to confirm name and address details. Your name and address will be included in the open register unless you ask for them to be removed. Removing your details from the open register does not affect your right to vote.


You can find more information about both registers and how they may be used at www.gov.uk/yourvotematters.


How can I find out more about IER?


Electoral Commission - www.electoralcommission.org.uk 

Cabinet Office - www.gov.uk/yourvotematters




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