Who can register to vote
All British, Irish Republic and 'qualifying' Commonwealth citizens who are resident at the property are entitled to register to vote. Although 'rising 18s' can register, they will not become eligible to vote until their 18th birthday.
A 'qualifying' Commonwealth citizen is one who does not require leave under the Immigration Act 1971 to enter or remain in the UK. However, if a person has such 'leave to stay' from the Home Office, or has been granted permission by some other enactment, they would be entitled to register. The Electoral Registration Officer may in such circumstances require supporting evidence from an applicant.
Citizens of EU Member States are also eligible to register to vote in the UK in local elections. The countries are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, The Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
Cyprus and Malta are already Members of the Commonwealth, so full voting rights have always been extended to their citizens living in the UK.
You can find out more about registering to vote on the Electoral Commission's website - including details of all the 'qualifying' Commonwealth countries.
How to register to vote
Please note: Voter registration for the Borough Elections on 5 May 2022 has now closed.
The process of Individual Electoral Registration (IER) was introduced in June 2014. People are now responsible for their own registration and have to make their own application to register to vote each time they move.
In order to register, each applicant will be required to include their national insurance number and date of birth in their application. This information will be used to verify that the applicant is who they say they are.
You should register if you have not previously registered or if you have recently moved home. The whole process should take about 5 minutes:
Register by Post
Find out more about the new system of registering to vote in the following frequently asked questions section.
If you have recently moved into Brentwood or changed your address please also complete the online form available on our Moving In/Out page, which will allow you to inform different areas within the Council.
Check whether you are included in the current Register of Electors
The Register of Electors is a public record and can be inspected at the Council during normal office hours.
Service voters and overseas electors
For information about special arrangements for those in the armed forces or who are moving abroad, please contact Electoral Services on 01277 312708.
Individual electoral registration - FAQs
Individual Electoral Registration was introduced in 2014.
What has changed about how people register to vote?
From June 2014, each person has to register to vote individually. This new process is called Individual Electoral Registration (IER). In order to register, each applicant is required to include their National Insurance Number (NI No) and date of birth in their application. This information is used to verify that the applicant is who they say they are.
How do you verify my information?
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will confirm that the details given on your application to register as an elector are correct. After we have checked your information with DWP, we may also carry out an additional check using other council records.
What happens if I haven't got a National Insurance Number?
If you are unable to supply your NI No, there are alternative forms of official evidence that can be accepted. Electoral Services Officers will contact you for further information if this is the case.
I have moved and I am not registered to vote at my new address. What should I do?
Please go to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote and complete the online registration form. Alternatively, you can contact Electoral Services on 01277 312708 and we will either send you an application form or talk you through a telephone registration.
Where can I find out more about the Full Register and the Open Register?
You can find out the difference between the two registers on the Register of Electors page.
How do I have my details removed from the Open Register?
Your name and address will be included in the open register unless you ask for them to be removed. Removing your details from the open register would not affect your right to vote.
If you wish to change your preference, please let us know, by email to email@example.com, by phone call to 01277 312708 or by writing to Electoral Services at the Town Hall. Each person needs to make their own individual request.
Where can I find out more about IER?
Legislation came into effect in 2007 which enables persons who would be at risk of danger if their name and address were to appear in the Register of Electors to register anonymously.
This means that only an electoral number would be shown in the register under a separate section. All electoral documents would be treated in strict confidence and not available to the general public.
Application forms and further information can be obtained from the Deputy Registration Officer. Please email your contact phone number to Carole Tatton-Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will contact you direct to discuss the matter.
This also applies to any person living in the same household as another person who is at risk.
Brentwood Borough Council is committed to protecting your privacy when you use our services. We are the data controller, this means we control how your personal information is processed and for what purposes.
The Privacy Notice below explains how we use information about you and how we protect your privacy.
We have a Data Protection Officer who makes sure we respect your rights and follow the law. If you have any concerns or questions about how we look after your personal information, please contact the Data Protection Officer at Brentwood Borough Council on 01277 312500.
What is personal information?
Personal information can be any information which relates to a living individual who can be identified from it. This can include information that when put together with other information can then identify a person.
The standard information we collect about you includes the following:
- Your full name
- Date of Birth
- National insurance number
- Contact details, such as email address and telephone number (which can only be used by Electoral Services in relation to electoral registration)
Some of the information that is collected is classified as special category personal data. This is processed for reason of substantial public interest as set out in the Representation of the People Act 1983 and associated regulations.
Why do we need your personal information?
The Electoral Registration Officer has a legal duty to maintain the register of electors. This duty is fully explained in the Representation of the People Act 1983 and associated regulations.
To verify your identity, the data you provide will be processed by the Individual Electoral Registration Digital Service managed by the Cabinet Office. As part of this process, your data will be shared with the Department of Work and Pensions and the Cabinet Office suppliers that are data processors for the Individual Electoral Registration Digital Service.
You can find more information about this here:
How the law allows us to use your personal information
The lawful basis for us to collect the information we need in relation to registering you as an elector is for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest and exercise of official authority, as vested in the Electoral Registration Officer as set out in the Representation of the People Act 1983 and associated regulations.
We will use the information we collect, or that you give to us, for electoral registration and election purposes only. We will look after your personal information securely and we will adhere to the data protection legislation.
We will not give personal information out about you or any personal information you may provide us with regarding other people, to other persons or organisations unless we are required to by law, or where you have requested us to do so.
Who might we share your information with?
The Electoral Registration Officer and designated staff will only share your information with organisations or individuals that are listed in the Representation of the People Regulations 2001.
Organisations or individuals that receive electoral data must adhere to the strict instructions for use, as set out in the regulations.
Regulations 97 – 109a of the Representation of the People Regulations 2001 list the organisations and individuals who can request electoral data.
Please note that with the exception of the organisations mentioned in paragraph 3, National Insurance numbers, are not shared with any other organisation or individual.
Contact details such as email addresses and telephone numbers are used solely for the purposes of electoral registration and not shared with any organisation or individual.
Whenever we share your information we do everything we can to make sure it is kept secure and protected.
Is any of our information about you incorrect?
You can ask to change information you think is inaccurate, you should let us know if you disagree with something we have on record about you.
We may not always be able to change or remove that information but we’ll correct factual inaccuracies and may include your comments in the record to show that you disagree with it.
Please let us know if your mobile phone, email address or other contact information changes so that we can keep this information up to date.
How long do we keep your personal information?
Electoral Services will retain your data for the periods required by electoral legislation. For information regarding different retention dates please contact Electoral Services.
Keeping your information secure
We make every effort to keep your information safe:
- We take appropriate care to secure the information we hold about you
- We have robust technical security such as passwords and information encryption
- We have policies and procedures to make sure your information is only available to our employees who need to see it to do their job, and we train these employees appropriately.
- We establish robust procedures and contracts to extend these protections to any other person or organisation we made need to give your information to.
Transfer of information abroad
The majority of the personal information we store is held on systems in the UK. But there are some occasions where your information may leave the UK either in order to get to another organisation or if it is stored in a system outside of the EU.
We will have additional protections on your information if it leaves the UK ranging from secure ways of transferring information to ensuring we have a robust contract in place with that third party.
We will take all practical steps to make sure your personal information is not sent to a country that is not seen as ‘safe’ either by the UK or EU Governments.
Who can you contact about data protection and your rights?
In the Council you can contact the Data Protection Officer on 01277 312500.
For independent advice about data protection, privacy and data sharing issues or to lodge a complaint about how we have handled your information you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) at:
You can visit ico.org.uk or email email@example.com
Alternatively you can write or telephone:
Information Commissioner's Office
Cheshire SK9 5AF