Elections and Electoral Registration


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Annual canvass of electors - 2019
Each year we are required by law, to carry out an annual ‘canvass’ of electors. The aim of the canvass is to ensure that the electoral register is up to date and to identify any residents who are not registered. Only those names contained on the electoral register will be able to vote at elections and referendums, it is therefore important that you are registered so that you can have a say on issues important to you. Please note you are not automatically registered if you, or a member of the household, pays council tax.

What happens
This year the annual canvass in Chorley will run from July 2019 until the end of November 2019 in readiness for the publication of the revised register of electors on 1 December 2019.

  1.  Around the middle of July every household in Chorley will be sent a Household Enquiry Forms (HEF). The form, which will be addressed to ‘The Occupier’ contains pre-printed details of those electors currently registered at the property. Where no names are listed, our records show that the property is empty.                                                           
  2. Each household is required to complete and return the HEF by law, even if there are no changes to report or the occupiers are not eligible to vote in UK elections.                                                                                                                      
  3. Reminder forms will be issued later in the process and may also include a member of our canvass team knocking at your door to collect the completed HEF. It is therefore important that you respond to your HEF as soon as possible to save the council money and avoids a member of our canvass team from visiting your home.

Please note, if you are not already registered, completing the HEF does not register you on the electoral roll. The HEF is the first step of a two-step registration process.

What you need to do
If the details are correct, all you need to do is follow the instructions on the HEF. Using your security codes printed on the front of the form. You can respond using one of the following options:
• online at www.elecreg.co.uk/chorley
• by telephone at 0808 284 1458 or
• by text message to 07786209358.
• The above options are quick and easy to do and will also save the council money associated with administrated. However, if you prefer, you can return the completed form, in the envelope provided, by post. See your HEF for further details.

Updating incorrect or missing details
If the details on the form are incorrect - for example, someone has moved in or out of the property, please follow the instructions on the form to let us know.

Choose only one of the following two options:
• Respond online at www.elecreg.co.uk/chorley
• Send your completed form back in the envelope provided

What happens after the HEF is returned?
• For those households with no changes, the canvass process is complete. You should not receive anything further from us relating to the 2019 canvass.
• Anyone new that has been added to the form with then be invited to register. We will send a YELLOW ‘Invitation to Register Form’ (ITR). The form looks very similar to the HEF but is addressed to a specific person and relates only to them. This form is the second step of the two-step registering process mentioned above. Only once the second step has been completed will a person be registered, and then only from 1 December.

If you would prefer to register on line visit www.gov.uk/registertovote, but you still must respond to the HEF. You can register this way at any time, and if you register straight away it will stop us from sending out the yellow ITR form saving the council both time and money.

Once you have completed your registration, either on line or by filling in the form, your details will be verified. In some cases, you may be asked to provide further documentary evidence to prove your identity. If this applies to you, we will notify you in writing, and will include a list of the various forms of identification methods that would be acceptable.

If you tell us someone has moved out of the property, we may have to send them a further letter to your address confirming that we intend to remove their name from the register. We do this to give an elector who may have been accidently taken off the HEF, the opportunity to tell us they still live at the same property. If we have not had a response from them within 14 calendar days, they will automatically be removed from that address.

Reminders
If we do not receive a response to the HEF by 2 August, a reminder will be issued. If we haven’t received a response to the reminder an officer will visit your property to obtain the required information. All ITR forms that are not responded to will follow the same process. It is therefore important that you respond as soon as possible and preferably by using the online service.

If you move home
Each time you change address you need to re-register to vote and update your voting preference if you vote by post or proxy, as your new registration will automatically have you voting at a polling station. The quickest and easiest way to do this is online at www.gov.uk/registertovote . You can do this at any time and do not need to wait for the annual canvass. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
  • Canvass - Frequently Asked Questions 

    Do I have to fill in the Household Enquiry Form every year?
    Yes, there is a legal requirement to complete and return the form each and every year. Failure to do so could result in a fine.

    Can I complete the form electronically?
    Yes, if there are no changes to make to the details on the form, you can use the telephone/SMS/internet options.

    If you need to make changes, you can do this using the online option described above. You cannot make changes by telephone or SMS.

    Please do not return the form in the post if you use one of these options.

    There are people listed on the HEF that do not live here, what do I do?
    If anyone listed on the HEF is not living at your address, you can use the internet option at www.elecreg.co.uk/chorley to remove them. Alternatively, you can respond using the form provided. The form should be completed with their name(s) clearly crossed through and returned to the envelope provided.

    What if the property empty?
    If there is nobody living at a property, the HEF still needs to be returned by a landlord or the person looking after the property. Simply cross out the list of electors’ names (if applicable) that appear on the HEF, and tick the box which says, “Nobody eligible to register to vote?”, sign and date the form and return it in the envelope provided. 

    Who should I include on the form?
    When you complete the annual electoral registration form, make sure you include:
    • All British, Republic of Ireland and qualifying Commonwealth citizens currently living in the property. Qualifying Commonwealth citizens are those persons who have leave to enter or remain in the UK, or who don't require such leave.
    • All citizens of European Union member states who are currently living in the property.
    • All 16 and 17 year olds, as they will be eligible to vote when they become 18, but not before.
    • All persons who normally live at your address but are temporarily away, for example on holiday, in hospital, as students. Students are entitled to register both at their home address and their term-time address and may vote in local elections in both areas. However, they may only vote once in the event of a Parliamentary election.
    • Anyone who is away working, unless they'll be away for more than 6 months of the year.
    • Any other residents, lodgers and guests but not short stay visitors.

    Who should I not include on the form?
    When you complete the annual electoral registration form, don't include:
    • Anyone not currently a resident at your address.
    • Foreign nationals, except for European Union and qualifying Commonwealth citizens.
    • Anyone under the age of 16.

    I’ve registered to vote on line - do I still have to fill in this Household Enquiry Form?
    ​​​​​​​Yes, you must still complete it, so that we know the details of everyone at your address. If the HEF is not returned you will receive reminders which could also result in a visit from our canvass team.

  • When will I be registered?

    The Register of Electors is updated every year and is produced to allow eligible people to vote in elections. The register is also amended on a monthly basis under what is known as Rolling Registration.
     
    Here are the statutory publication dates of rolling registration for 2019

    ​If we receive your application by: ​Your details will be changed on:
    ​11/12/2018 ​02/01/2019
    10/01/2019​ 01/02/2019​
    ​07/02/2019 01/03/2019​
    ​08/03/2019 01/04/2019​
    09/04/2019 01/05/2019​
    10/05/2019 03/06/2019​
    ​07/06/2019 01/07/2019​
    10/07/2019 01/08/2019​
    ​09/08/2019 02/09/2019​


    Note, because the Annual Canvass of Electors is carried out in the autumn of each year there are no monthly updates to the register between the 1st September and the 1st December. As Such in 2019 any changes we receive after the 9th August 2019 will only take place on the register published on the 1st December​ 2019.

  • Postal votes

    How do I apply for a postal vote, or make changes to an existing postal vote?

    If you would like to vote by post, you first need to complete a postal vote application form which you can downloaded by clicking here.  Completed forms need to be return to the Electoral Services team.

  • Proxy Votes

    If you are unable to vote in person but don not want to receive a postal vote, you can ask someone to vote on your behalf. This is called a proxy vote.

    You can ask anyone to act as your proxy - as long as they are registered to vote and they’re allowed to vote in the same type of election.

    You can be a proxy for 2 people at the same election, or more if the extra people are close relatives.

    Please note your proxy will need to vote at the polling station which you would normally attend.  You therefore need to consider if your proxy would require a postal proxy.

    The deadline for new proxy applications (not postal proxy), excluding emergency proxy applications, is 5pm, 25 April.  The deadline for a postal proxy is 5pm, 18 April.​ 

  • Individual electoral registration

    The electoral registration system in Great Britain has recently changed. The new system is called ‘Individual Electoral Registration’ This started to happen in June 2014 in England and Wales.

    Previously, the ‘head of household’ was responsible for registering everyone who lived at the address, but now every individual is responsible for their own voter registration. This is called Individual Electoral Registration. The new system also mean​s that people are now able to register online. Anyone newly registering under the new system will need to register themselves individually by filling out a paper or online form.

    Most people who are currently registered to vote have been registered automatically under the new system. They do not need to do anything and will continue to be registered to vote as usual. We will send a letter early August to let these people know that they are registered under the new system.

    A minority of people on the electoral register have not been automatically registered under the new system. It is straightforward for these people to re-register. We are writing to the people who are not automatically registered to let them know that they need to register under the new system. We included a registration form with the letter or they can register online

    The letter which you receive will tell you if you are on the open register.



    If
    • You are not on the open register you don't need to do anything
    • You are on the open register and you would like to be removed from it please complete the enquiry form
    • You have moved address you will need to register to vote

    FAQ's

    Has the registration system changed?
    The electoral registration system in Great Britain has recently changed. The new system is called ‘Individual Electoral Registration’ This started to happen in June 2014 in England and Wales.

    What is individual electoral registration?
    Previously, the ‘head of household’ was responsible for registering everyone who lived at the address, but now every individual is responsible for their own voter registration. This is called Individual Electoral Registration. The new system also means that people are now able to register online. Anyone newly registering under the new system will need to register themselves individually by filling out a paper or online form.

    What is different about the new system?
    Previously, the ‘head of household’ was responsible for registering everyone who lived at the address. The new way of registering is called Individual Electoral Registration. Under the new system you will be able to register online to vote. Anyone newly registering under the new system will need to register themselves by filling out a paper or online form. The other difference is that people need to provide a few more details about themselves to register – these are date of birth and National Insurance number.

    Why has the system changed?
    Individual electoral registration gives you the right and responsibility to register yourself, instead of giving the responsibility to a ‘head of household’. As such, it encourages people to take individual responsibility for their own vote. The change has also allowed more convenient methods of registration, for example, by internet (or by telephone or in person if offered by your local authority). Because the new system asks you for a few more details before you are added to the register – your National Insurance number and date of birth – the electoral register will be more secure and more resistant to threats of electoral fraud.

    Who is responsible for changing the system?
    The system was introduced by the UK government through the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 which became law on 31 January 2013. Electoral Registration Officers are implementing the change

    Do I need to do anything / do I need to re-register?
    Most people who are currently registered to vote have been registered automatically under the new system. They do not need to do anything and will continue to be registered to vote as usual. We will send a letter early August to let these people know that they are registered under the new system.

    A minority of people on the electoral register have not been automatically registered under the new system. It is straightforward for these people to re-register. We are writing to the people who are not automatically registered to let them know that they need to register under the new system. We included a registration form with the letter or they can register online

    Does the change affect how I vote?
    Voting processes haven’t changed. However, if you want to vote by post or proxy you will need to ensure that you are registered under the new system. If you haven’t already applied to vote by post, you will need to do so by 5pm 11 working days before an election to vote by post at that election.

    If you haven’t already applied to vote by proxy, the deadline is normally six working days before an election, apart from in the case of a medical emergency or if you are called away unexpectedly for work reasons, when you may be able to apply up to 5pm on polling day.

    I haven’t received the letter, what should I do?
    If you are already registered to vote, you will receive a letter telling you that there is a new voter registration system. It will also tell you if you need to do anything as a result. You may not have received your letter yet but we will be writing out in August. You need to look out for it and respond if it asks you to. If you were not already on the electoral register you will not have received a letter. You can register to vote online.

    I haven’t received a letter, what should I do?
    Most people received a letter to tell them that there is a new way to register to vote and whether they need to re-register.

    If you are currently not registered to vote, you can register online.

    If you don’t know whether you’re registered to vote, it’s possible to check under the new system by contacting us.

  • Election of Councillors in Chorley

    Chorley Council is made up of 47 Councillors spread over 20 borough wards.

    The numbers of councillors per ward is dependent on how many electors there are in each ward with the result that across Chorley there are some wards with 3 councillors, some with 2 and some with just 1 councillor, however the majority have 3.

    Councillors are elected for a 4 year term of office with elections being held by what is known as “by thirds”. This means that over a four year period, in 3 of those four years a third of the Chorley seats are put up for election each year with the 4th year being reserved for elections to Lancashire County Council.

    What this means for the electors of Chorley is that in those wards with 3 councillors there are elections every year (3 years for Chorley Council and 1 year for Lancashire County Council). For those with 2 councillors there are elections in 2 of the 3 years and for those with only 1 councillor there are elections in only 1 of the 3 years.

    For this reason whilst the majority of areas in Chorley have elections every year, in some areas there will be years when there are no local elections.

  • Nominations - standing in an election
    Most candidates are nominated through a political party.  However, individuals are welcome to stand in their own right.  Before you can be accepted as a candidate you must get one person to agree to propose the nomination and another person to agree to second the proposal.  Both of these people must be on the electoral register.

    Eligibility criteria for borough elections
    Candidates must be qualified to stand for election. The Local Government Act 1972, Section 79, sets out the qualifications for standing as a candidate and the grounds for disqualification of a candidate.

    Eligible candidates must be at least 18 years old; and:
      • be on the electoral register for the district, or 
      • have worked in the district for the previous year, or 
      • have lived in the district for the previous year, or 
      • have owned or rented land or other premises in the district for the whole of the previous year*

    *The previous year is calculated from the day the candidate is nominated for election. The candidate must be a Commonwealth citizen. a citizen of Republic of Ireland or a citizen of another Member State of the European Community.

    The applicant may be disqualified as a candidate for the borough elections if he or she:
      • holds a paid office under the local authority or a politically restricted post, as defined in Part I of the Local
    Government and Housing Act 1989, 
      • has been declared bankrupt in the last five years and has not repaid their debts, 
      • has been convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to at least three months imprisonment (including any suspended sentence) within the previous five years, or 
      • is disqualified due to corrupt practices under the Representation of the People Act 1983 or the Audit Commission Act.

    Evidence required
    To stand as a candidate at any election a nomination paper must be submitted. The nomination paper gives details of name, address and political description (if any). A nomination paper has to be signed by the correct number of supporters.

    To stand as a candidate in a County or Borough election 10 electors (one proposer, one seconder and eight assentors) need to sign the nomination paper. Everyone signing the nomination paper must be included on the Register of Electors for the area in which the election is to be held. If someone signs your nomination paper and they are not included on the relevant Register of Electors, the paper will not be valid.

    Guidance notes
    Full name and home address must be included. If desired, a description can be included, such as the political party. Candidates cannot submit a nomination paper using a political party description unless they have their permission to do so and a certificate from them saying that they are authorised to use their description.

    Agents do not have to be appointed. However, during an election some candidates appoint persons to assist them in their campaign. More information on the appointment of polling and counting agents will be given once the decision is made to stand for election.

    A successful candidate would be expected to follow the Council's Code of Conduct.

    Application process
    The nomination forms to stand as a candidate are available from us. To apply for a form please contact us. There is no charge to stand as a candidate for election. However, any costs incurred by a candidate in standing for election will have to be paid by the candidate. Details of expenses will be supplied with the nomination form.
  • Voting
    From the age of 18 everyone in the UK has the right to vote - this is your opportunity to have a say in the way your community and country a​​re run. In order to vote you have to be registered with us on the electoral register. You are not automatically registered, even if you pay Council Tax. Being on the register also has other benefits, when opening a bank account or applying for credit or housing, even confirming your National Lottery win.

    Postal Voting
    You can register to vote by visiting the About My Vote website. After we have received and processed your form we will write to you with confirmation that your application has been dealt with. A request for a new postal vote or a change to an existing one must be received 11 working days before polling day in order for you to vote at that election.

    ​​

    Proxy Voting
    Proxy votes are when you can choose someone else to cast your vote on your behalf. For indefinite or long term proxy votes you need to specify physical or employment or study reasons as to why you are making an application. With proxy votes, where a particular election is specified, you need to provide details of the circumstances by which you cannot reasonably be expected to go to the polling station. Requests for new proxy votes or to cancel a proxy or appoint a different proxy must be received by 5pm 6 working days before polling day. For each person who applies, a separate form must be completed.
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