Floating voters?

Published: Thursday, 17th October 2019

If you are living on a boat in Oxford you can still register to vote, even if you don’t have a permanent mooring and you don’t stay in the same place for long periods. You just need to make a Declaration of Local Connection. It’s quick and easy.

Why register
You need to be on the electoral register to vote in UK elections and referenda. You won’t be automatically registered, even if you pay council tax.

By registering to vote, you can have a say in local and national matters and ensure your voice is heard just like any other Oxford resident. Additionally, not being registered can affect your credit rating.

"We want to get everyone who is entitled to vote onto the electoral register and that includes those living on the water. It may be that boat dwellers think they aren't eligible to vote just because they don't live in a property, but that's not true. With rivers and the canal flowing through the city there are many residents who live on boats and we don't want them to miss out. It's a very straightforward procedure." 
Oxford City Council's Returning Officer, Anita Bradley.  

Making a declaration
A Declaration of Local Connection is made to the City Council’s electoral registration office. It shows your connection to the area and allows for you to be assigned to a polling district. It may be the area that you moor in regularly, whether temporary or permanent, your workplace, or a boatyard you visit.

Providing a correspondence address
To receive your polling card you need to provide a postal address. It could be family, a friend, your work or another address where you can safely receive mail. The Council will send your annual declaration renewal by email, which you can sign and return as an email attachment.

Maintaining your registration
You can register to vote at any point in the year. You need to renew your Declaration of Local Connection every year and tell us if anything has changed.

For more information phone 01865 252987 or email Oxford City Council's election team.