Register to vote

Your name must be on the Electoral Register before you can vote in local and national elections and referendums.

The annual household canvass to update the register of electors is changing this year. Look out for your canvass communication which we will send around mid August.

How it works

Canvass reform means that we will data match all individuals within households with the Department for Work and Pensions Customer Information System (DWP CIS) in mid-June - based on test data undertaken earlier this year we expect approx. 70% of households to match.

  • Matched Households - You will receive a letter outlining the details of people registered at that property if all the details on the letter are correct you DO NOT need to respond. If they have changed you should let us know using the online service or by calling the Helpline number to make the changes.
  • Unmatched Households - For the 20% of households in the Borough that we do not get a full match for will receive a letter outlining the details of people registered at that property. The letter will ask you to use the online service or call the Helpline number to make any changes. You do NOT need to send the letter back to us. Please respond as soon as possible as this will avoid us having to contact you again. 

If you do not reply

We are required to chase up non-responders so households may get a phone call or email from our team at Electoral Services or failing that a door knock from one of our personal canvassers.

The personal canvassers carry ID and will not enter your house they will have a Tablet with an online form with your address and who was registered last year - this does require a response.

It is important that if there are any changes you tell us so that we can make sure you are able to vote in any elections. Not being registered may also affect your credit score.

What happens next

Anyone who is added to a property will still need to register to vote. We will send them an 'Invitation to Register Form' to anyone who has been added so that they can register to vote either by filling in the paper form or by registering online

Register to vote

Remember by completing the canvass form or making changes via the online service or calling the Helpline you are not registered only confirming the names of the people at the property.

Electoral register

The Electoral register is a list of all names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in the Runnymede Borough Council electoral area.

The new Electoral Register will be published in full by 1 February 2021

Canvass Changes from 2020  

The way we carry out the annual canvass to update the electoral register has changed. Instead of sending all households a form which you had to return we now carry out a data matching exercise with the Department of Work and Pensions in June.

We expect approximately 80% of households to have a full match of all occupants and these households will be sent a letter saying that you do not need to respond unless the information is wrong and it tells you how to make changes by going online using your personal security codes provided.

For the other properties where we did not get a match you will receive a letter which shows the details that we currently hold you must respond to this form. You will be provided with details of how to make changes by going online using your personal security codes provided.

Registering to vote is straightforward.

  1. You can register to vote online.
  2. Fill in your name, address, date of birth and a few other details. You will also need your National Insurance number, which can be found on your National Insurance card, or in official paperwork, such as pay-slips, or letters about benefits or tax credits.
  3. Look out for confirmation from Runnymede Borough Council to say you are registered.

Find out more by visiting GOV.UK's Register to vote page.

If you are a student, you are entitled to register to vote at both your home and term-time addresses, so long as you only vote once at a Parliamentary election.

If you are a member of the British Armed Services, you can now choose whether to register as a service voter or as a civilian (ordinary elector).

If you are a British Citizen living outside the United Kingdom, and you satisfy certain conditions, you may register as an overseas elector to vote at Parliamentary and European Parliamentary elections in the UK. You will be unable to vote at Local Elections.

Moved house or changed name

You must remember to update your details on the Electoral Register when you change your name or address. To do this, please use the GOV.UK register to vote website. You will be asked if you have moved house or changed name - please complete the information in the relevant section of the form.

Registering to pay Council Tax does not mean you have also registered to vote at your new address.

The Electoral and Open (formerly 'Edited') Registers

The Electoral Register lists everyone who is entitled to vote and can be inspected under supervision at the Civic Centre. It is republished annually but you can apply to be added to the register and be added at any time.

By law, only certain people and organisations can have copies of the Electoral Register, and they can only use it for specified purposes. These include electoral purposes, the prevention and detection of crime and checking your identity when you have applied for credit. A list of people and purposes is given in the The Representation of the People (England and Wales) (Description of Electoral Registers and Amendment) Regulations 2013.

The Open Register leaves out the names and addresses of people who have asked for them to be excluded from that version of the register. This version can be bought by anyone who asks for a copy and they may use it for any purpose.

Even if you are excluded from the Open Register, you will still be listed in the full register.

Anonymous registration

If you feel that adding your name to the Electoral Register would have serious safety implications for you and other members of your household, you can apply for anonymous registration. Please contact Electoral Services for more information.

Once you are registered, find out How to vote at an election.

In order to hold a referendum to change our model of governance from the current committee system to a leader and cabinet or elected mayor and cabinet system, we would need a certain number of registered voters' signatures on a petition. This figure is known as the verification number.