The Annual Update (August to November)
Most people register to vote between September and November every year when we deliver a registration form to every home. This is known as the 'annual canvass'.
Deliveries of the initial forms begins in early September. The form will tell you want you need to do, if anything. If you are required to respond please do so as soon as you can, to avoid costly reminders and, further down the line, personal visits.
Reminders go out towards the end of September.
Personal visits are made during October and November to properties where no reply has been received to the earlier forms. These canvassers will use tablet devices to record replies and will always carry a Council-issued ID badge. If you have any queries or concerns about a person knocking on your door claiming to be a canvasser please contact us.
The register for 2024 will published on 1 December 2023. A paper copy is available for inspection at the Town Hall.
The rest of the year (December to July)
You can also register throughout the year as the electoral register is updated every month.
If you don't have access to the internet or would rather fill in a paper form, please contact us with your name and address and we will send it to you.
Check if your name is on the Electoral Register
Please contact us using the details at the bottom of the page and we will check for you. There is no online access to the electoral register.
You should re-register to vote every time you move house. If you need to re-register please visit the GOV.UK website.
If you don't have access to the internet or would rather fill in a paper form, please contact us with your name and address and we will send it to you. If you have filled in and returned an annual canvass registration form since you moved to your new home, you do not need to register again.
If you move during the annual canvass then you should complete the annual canvass forms to reflect your address on 15 October. If you move after you have completed the annual canvass form then visit the GOV.UK website and fill in their online form or contact us for an application form.
You need to be on the electoral register to vote in all UK elections and referendums. You are not automatically registered even if you pay council tax. Not being registered will also affect your credit rating.
Who can register
You can register to vote if you are:
- 16 or over (but you can't vote until you are 18)
- British, Irish Republic, Commonwealth or European Union citizens living in the UK
If you are 16 or 17, you can only register to vote if you will be 18 within the lifetime of the electoral register. You cannot vote until you are 18.
NOTE: The arrangements for EU citizens registering to vote in the UK will change, but not, at the moment, until after the May 2024 elections.
No fixed residence or long-term hospital stay?
If you do not have a permanent residence (say you are a rough sleeper or sofa surfer) or don't stay in the same place for long periods (say a boater) you can make a Declaration of Local Connection.
Long-term residents of hospitals (either medical or mental) can set up an absent vote for their usual address. They are able to continue the registration at what would be their usual address if they weren’t in hospital.
If they are long-term in-patients at a mental health institution they can either:
- continue with the registration at their home address if their stay is less than six months;
- if their stay is longer, or they prefer, they can register a declaration of local connection at the hospital. The only except are those that are detained in a mental institution following a criminal conviction who cannot register at all.
For further information and to download a form go to the Electoral Commission's website.
Students are entitled to register at both their home address and their university address. Although it is an offence to vote more than once in a national election, you can vote in local elections at both of your addresses.
Please note: if the student's home address is in the same local authority area as the university address, for example if their parents' home was in Headington and university address in Jericho, it would be an offence to vote twice in the City elections. Likewise if their parents' home was in Abingdon, and their term address was west Oxford, it would be an offence for them to vote twice in a County Council election.
Visit the Student pages on the Electoral Commission's website for more details.
How long it takes to register
Applications received before the middle of the month will appear from the first working day of the following month. The only exceptions to this will be during an election period when different deadlines apply and during the annual canvass in the autumn. Any changes made that period (1st September to 30th November) will formally come in to force when the new register is published on 1st December.
Postal and Proxy voting
Find out about: