Birmingham City Council

Register to Vote

Overview

You must be on the electoral register to vote in elections...

In order to be added to the Register of Electors, you must make an application to the Elections Office. You are not automatically registered to vote, even if you pay council tax, or have registered to use other council services. There are 2 ways to register to vote and this depends on the time of year you are registering:

1. Complete a 'Voter Registration Form' (all year round).

Each month between January and September, the register is updated. You can apply to be added to one of these monthly updates by completing a Voter Registration Form.

Monthly updates are suspended during the annual canvass, usually between October, November and December. However, as the Annual Canvass has been pushed back, monthly updates will continue until November, and will resume again in March 2014.

You can fill in a Voter Registration form at any time of year, but there is still a requirement to complete the Household Registration Form as part of the annual canvass.

See below for more information.

1. Register to vote during the Annual Canvass;

During the annual canvass we send out forms to every household in the city. The personal canvass, where a team of canvassers call at any non-responding addresses takes place after this, in order to gather as much information as possible for the publication of the fully revised register.

This usually happens on 1 December, although in 2012, it was published on 16 October, due to the early canvass brought about by the Police and Crime Commissioner Elections.

Due to forthcoming changes in legislation, the annual canvass in 2013 has been pushed back, and as a result, the revised register will be published on 17 February 2014. The canvass will run from October to February, with the Personal Canvass taking place in early January.

Essential Information
  • The Annual Canvass of Households is conducted every autumn to improve the accuracy of the Register of Electors. An updated Register is then published.

    Due to forthcoming changes in legislation the canvass in Autumn 2013 has been pushed back. The first Household forms will be sent out in early October, with the Personal Canvass taking place in early January.


  • This is currently the only way to register during the year.

    You can ONLY apply to have your name added to the Register by completing a Voter Registration Form. This form is used to register individuals, NOT Households, and therefore each elector must sign and complete their own form in order to register.

    See below for a downloadable Voter Registration Form.


  • You can register to vote if you are:

    • 16 years old or over;
    • and a British citizen;
    • an Irish, EU or Qualifying Commonwealth citizen.


    If you are 16 or 17, you can only register to vote, BUT you are not allowed to vote until you are 18.

    Please see the attachment below giving a full list of Commonwealth and European Union countries. If you are a citizen of one of these countries, and resident in the UK, you are eligible to register to vote in UK elections. To qualify, Commonwealth citizens must be resident in the UK and either have leave to remain in the UK or not require such leave. The definition of a Commonwealth citizen includes citizens of British Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories.


    Citizens of the European Union, who are not Commonwealth citizens, can vote in European and Local Elections in the UK, but are not able to vote in UK Parliamentary general elections.

  • The Register is updated every month.

    If you return your Voter Registration Form to us during the first week of a month your name will be added to the Register at the start of the following month.

    There are special rules about names being added to the voter's list during an election period, which mean that you may not be able to vote at that election if you are added during this time.

    For a Voter Registration Form, please click link below. Full details of the deadlines to be included on the monthly updates of the register can be found on the back of the form.


  • By visiting the office - Elections Office, The Council House, Birmingham, B1 1BB

    By Phone - 0121 303 2731
    By Fax - 0121 212 1065
    By e-mail - elections@birmingham.gov.uk

Frequently Asked Questions
    • These are the dates when the register will be updated in 2013 (the dates in brackets are the last day on which you can return the form in order to be included on that particular update):

      Wed 2 January 2013 (return form no later than 11 December 2012)

      Fri 1 February 2013 (10 January 2013)

      Fri 1 March 2013 (7 February 2013)

      Tues 2 April 2013 (11 March 2013)

      Wed 1 May 2013 (9 April 2013)

      Mon 3 June 2013 (10 May 2013)

      Mon 1 July 2013 (7 June 2013)

      Thurs 1 August 2013 (10 July 2013)

      Mon 2 September 2013 (9 August 2013)

      Tues 1 October 2013 (9 September 2013)

      Fri 1 November 2013 (10 October 2013)

      There will be no monthly update in December 2013, or January 2013, in preparation for the publication of the revised register on 17 February 2014.

      NOTE: If there is an election called on any other date, there will be another deadline 11 working days before polling day. This may result in a change to the dates given above - this will be confirmed if an election is called.

      A letter of confirmation is sent out to everyone who is added to the register during the monthly updates around the time the register is published. This letter will also take the place of a poll card for anyone who is added to the register in the build up to an election.

    • Your name will appear on the register of electors as soon as the monthly update has been published, but it can take up to a month before the credit agencies update their records (and some do not do this every month).

      Your letter of confirmation is proof of when you were included on the updated register of electors, and you can use this to send to any agencies who require proof you are registered.


    • We do not sent confirmation of receipt of the application form, although we will make contact with you, either by returning the form or by using an email address or phone number, if the form has not been completed properly.

      We will however send a confirmation of entry letter to each applicant who has been successfully added to the register during each monthly update. In the build up to an election, this confirmation letter also acts as a poll card.


    • If you have moved address, then you will need to complete a registration form (as directed above).

      If you wish to amend your name, then you will need to put your request in writing to the elections office. The deadlines are the same as those for completing a registration form.

      If you want to remove your name from the register of electors, then this should be done following the completion of a voter registration form for your new address. However, if you are registered at both your new and old addresses already, then you should put your request to be taken off the register in writing to the elections office, providing details of your new address as well.


    • If your name is on the register of electors you will be able to vote at any election you are eligible for (European Union citizens can only vote in local council elections, whereas British, Irish and Commonwealth citizens can vote in all elections)

      In order to add your name to the register to be able to vote, a completed voter registration form must be received by the elections office no later than 11 working days before polling day.

    • The form can be posted to The Elections Office, The Council House, Birmingham, B1 1BB, faxed to 0121 212 1065, or emailed as an attachment to elections@birmingham.gov.uk. NOTE – all forms must be physically signed before they can be accepted. If a form has been completed incorrectly, then it will be returned to you for further information.

    • On a Voter Registration Form, you need to provide your full name, citizenship (i.e. which country you get your passport from) and how old you are.

      You should also give the full address of where you have moved to, and the address where you have moved from (this is so that you can be removed from the register at the old address). There is also the option to choose whether or not you wish to appear on the edited version of the register – which is the one which can be sold to anyone and used for any purpose.

      Finally each form must be signed by the applicant.

      If any of these details are missing, or if the form has not been signed, they will be returned to you for completion.


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