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All about voting

You’ll need to register before you can vote in elections and referendums . You won’t automatically be registered to vote when you pay your Council Tax.

To check if you’re already registered to vote, you can contact our customer services team.

Registering and your data

When you register to vote, your name and address are added to a register, known as an electoral register. There are two types of register:

Full register

The full register is a list of everyone who’s registered to vote and can be used for things like calling people for jury service or checking credit applications.

You can view the full register, under supervision, at the Council offices.

Open register

The open register is an extract from the full register. It can be bought by anyone, including individuals, businesses and organisations and used for any purpose.

When you register to vote, you’ll be asked if you want to be included in the open register. If you decide not to be included in the open register you can still vote in elections.

You can ask to be removed from the open register at any time

Registering to vote

You can register to vote if you’re:

You'll need to be registered by a certain date to be able to vote. More information on upcoming elections, and dates you’ll need to register by, is available on the latest elections page.

To register to vote, you’ll need your:

You’ll find your National Insurance Number on your National Insurance Number Card or a recent payslip.

When you register, you’ll be asked if you want to opt-out of the open register

You can register to vote online by visiting the GOV.UK website. Alternatively, you can contact our Electoral Services team for a registration form. 

Voting

There are three ways that you can vote:

You can only vote once in each election or referendum, unless you’re voting on behalf of someone else, known as a proxy.

For more information on the different ways to vote, you can visit the Your Vote Matters website.

If you’re voting by post or by proxy, you’ll need to complete an application form. You can get an application form by visiting the Your Vote Matters website or by contacting our customer services team.

Voting in person

If you vote in person, you'll receive a poll card telling you where to vote.  Alternatively, you can visit the Where Do I Vote website to find your nearest polling station

For more information on voting in person, you can visit the Your Vote Matters website.

Voting by post

If you can’t make it to a polling station, you can apply to vote by post instead.

You’ll need to download an application form from the Your Vote Matters website to vote by post.  Alternatively, you can contact our customer service team.

Once you’ve completed your application form to vote by post, you’ll need to return it to the Electoral Services team. Alternatively, you can scan and email a signed copy of your application to us at electors@swale.gov.uk.

For more information about voting by post, including download the application form, you can visit the Your Vote Matters website.

Voting by proxy

If you can’t vote in person, someone else can vote for you, known as voting by proxy.

You’ll need to download an application form from the Your Vote Matters website to vote by proxy. Alternatively, you can contact our customer service team.

Once you’ve completed your application for to vote by proxy, you’ll need to return it to the Electoral Services team by post. Alternatively, you can scan and email a signed copy of your application to us at electors@swale.gov.uk.

For more information about voting by proxy, including download the application form, you can visit the Your Vote Matters website.

Other ways to apply

If you’d prefer to receive an application form to vote by post or by proxy, you can contact our customer services team online. They’ll send you a form by post.

Returning your applications

Once you’ve completed an application to vote by post or by proxy, you’ll need to return it to us in time to vote. For more information about the deadlines for voting in specific elections, you can visit the upcoming elections page.

Once you’ve completed your application to vote by post or by proxy, you’ll need to return it to:

Remove yourself from the open register

Use this service if you’re registered to vote and you want to request to be removed from the open register.

Before you get started

You can ask to be removed from the open register by contacting our customer services team. You’ll need to include your:

What happens next

Once you’ve request that you’re removed from the open register, your records will be updated in the next monthly update.

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