How to register to vote
You can now register to vote online. You will need your National Insurance number and date of birth.
You need to be on the electoral register to vote in elections and referendums. The register is a list of people who are eligible to vote in the North Devon area. This list is updated throughout the year to remove people who are no longer in the area or add people who have reached voting age or moved into North Devon. The list is a public document and you must ensure that you are included on it. If your name is not included on the list you will not be able to vote at any elections that take place.
Why you should register to vote
- the electoral register is used by credit reference agencies to check your name and address if you are applying for credit
- if your name is not on the register, you may not be able to obtain credit, a mortgage or a mobile phone contract
- schools may use the electoral register to check that you live within their catchment area
- it is a criminal offence to refuse to complete the registration form or to give false information, carrying a fine of up to £1,000
Who can register to vote
You can register to vote if you are 16 years of age and over, resident in the UK and you are:
- a UK citizen
- a qualifying Commonwealth citizen
- a citizen of the Irish Republic
- a citizen of the European Union (EU)
- not legally excluded from voting
Individual Electoral Registration - IER
The electoral registration system in Great Britain has changed. Instead of one person in every household being responsible for registering everyone who lives at that address, it is now down to each individual to register themselves. This is called ‘Individual Electoral Registration’.
What is different about the new system?
- every individual will be responsible for their own registration. Under the old system, the ‘head of household’ was responsible for registering everyone who lived at the address
- you will need to provide 'identifying information' about yourself to register - including your National Insurance number and your date of birth
- you are now able to register online or by calling 01271 388277
Will the change affect how I vote?
No, voting processes haven’t changed. However, if you are a postal or proxy voter you must register individually under the new system or you will automatically lose the right to a postal or proxy vote.
The electoral register
We make and keep two versions of the register of electors – a full version and an edited version.
The full version of the electoral register lists everyone who is entitled to vote. By law, it can only be used for electoral purposes, prevention and detection of crime and checking your identity when you apply for credit. It is a criminal offence to pass it on to anyone else or to use it for any other purpose.
Edited or open register
The edited version of the register leaves out the names and addresses of people who have asked to be excluded from it. It is available for sale and can be used by anyone for any purpose. For example, direct mailing companies may use it to send you information about goods and services.
Removing your details from the public register
You can choose not to have your details on the open register. You should mark your preference when you apply to register to vote.
Viewing the register of electors
The register of electors for North Devon Council is available for inspection at:
- Lynton House, Barnstaple
- The Ilfracombe Centre
- Amory Centre, South Molton
The register is a public document and has other uses apart from the conduct of elections. The figure for triggering a Mayoral Referendum is calculated from it. It is also used by credit agencies and in its edited form it can be purchased by anyone.
If your details have changed
You should update the electoral register:
- every time you move home
- if someone has moved into your home
- if someone has moved out of your home
- if you have changed your name
Absent Voting - Postal or Proxy Voting
Once you have printed off your form please return it to:
North Devon Council
Petitions for a referendum
Each Local Authority is required to publish a verification number which is the figure representing 5 percent of the number of local government electors for the authority's area in the revised register of electors having effect on the 1 February 2016. The verification number for the district of North Devon is 3699.
These Regulations make provision in connection with the holding of a referendum on whether a local authority should change to a different form of governance where at least 5 percent of the local government electors in the authority's area petition the authority. The reason for publishing this information is for the purpose of determining the validity of petitions presented during the period 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017.