- Category: Elections and voting
- Last Updated: 11 April 2017
Information and guidance on registering to vote, proxy votes, postal votes and voting at an election.
The Council is responsible for compiling the Register of Electors for the District of Ryedale. If you are not on the Electoral Register you will not be eligible to vote in any Election. For further information email Elections or tel. 01653 600666.
The registration system changed in June 2014. The system is called ‘Individual Electoral Registration’ and everyone is responsible for registering themselves to vote.
If you have moved house recently and haven't re-registered, you can now register online at GOV.UK.
More information on IER is available at GOV.UK.
- if you don't register, you can't vote!
- by law, you must register to vote or you could be fined up to £80
- if you are not on the register you may find it harder to get a loan, mortgage, finance agreement, or even a mobile phone contract as the register is used by credit reference agencies
- it gives you a say on who runs the country, who sits on your County, District and Parish Councils, and who represents you in Europe.
Who can register?
You can register to vote if you are:
- 16 or older (although you can't vote until you're 18)
- a British citizen; or
- an Irish, qualifying Commonwealth, or European Union citizen living in the UK
If you are student living away from home, you can register at both your home and university term time address. Registering to vote at your term time address means you can choose where you vote.
You can still register to vote if you have no fixed address. You will need something called a 'declaration of local connection' to show that you are connected to and spend time at a particular place. Please contact Elections for more information.
How to register
Use the government online service to register to vote, or update your name or address. It takes less than 5 minutes and saves the Council money on printing and postage.
You will need your National Insurance number and date of birth. Your National Insurance number can be found on your National Insurance card or letter, or on official paper work such as payslips or letters about tax or benefits. If you cannot find your National Insurance number, visit GOV.UK.
If you are unable to complete the application online, contact us on 01653 600666 for a paper form.
Everyone is responsible for registering themselves to vote and the only way to do it is by either going online or by completing a paper form. You will not be registered to vote by any other contact you have with the Council, such as Council Tax or Housing Benefit, as Electoral Registration is a completely separate process.
When we receive your application, we have to check your identity against Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and other records, so applying does not mean that you will be automatically registered. Once your details have been checked by the DWP, you will receive a letter from us either confirming that you are registered, or asking you for more information.
The electoral register is only updated at certain times of the year - generally the first of every month, apart from in October and November. There are strict deadlines which mean that you can only be added to the register if we receive your application on time and we have all the information we need to process it.
If you have any queries or for further information, please email Elections or tel. 01653 600666.
Postal voting is a most convenient method of voting as you do not need to go to a polling station to vote. All you need to do is mark the ballot paper for the candidate you are voting for, sign and provide your date of birth on the statement which comes with the postal vote and return it to the Returning Officer at Ryedale House, Malton in the reply paid envelope. All postal vote applications need to be signed by the applicant and include the applicant's date of birth. A voter can apply up to eleven working days before an Election is held for a postal vote. To request a postal vote please fill in the form attached at the bottom of this page.
Proxy voting means that if you aren't able to cast your vote in person, you can have someone you trust cast your vote for you. When you apply for a proxy vote you must provide a reason. You can apply for a proxy vote if
- you are unable to go to the polling station if you are away on holiday
- you have a physical condition that means you cannot go to the polling station
- your employment prevents you from voting at your polling station
The person wishing to act as your proxy must be over the age of 18 and registered to vote.
In order to be valid every new absent voting application must include the applicant's signature and date of birth.
The Regulations prescribe that:
- All applications require the date of birth to be supplied in a dd/mm/yyyy format
- All applications must have the signature supplied.
- Where a postal vote is to be sent to an address other than the registered address, a reason for this redirection must be given.
- Where applicable, a reason must be given why a signature is unable to be provided and the name and address of any person who has assisted the application.
These provisions are in addition to the existing requirements for absent vote applications, namely that:
- They must be in writing and be dated by the applicant
- They must include the full name of the applicant
- They must include the registration address or for a postal proxy application, the elector's name and address and the proxy's name and address
- They must include the address where the postal ballot paper should be sent, and if this is not the registration address, a reason for this re-direction
- On proxy applications, they must include the reason for the application and attestation if it is for more than a single election.
Where an applicant is unable to provide a signature, they may request that the Electoral Registration Officer waive the requirement for a signature. Any such request must include the reason(s) for it, along with the name and address of any person who has assisted them with the completion of the application.
Existing Absent Voters:
By law, all Electoral Registration Officers had to send a Notice after 1st January 2007, to all existing postal, proxy and postal proxy voters, requiring them to supply a specimen of their signature and their date of birth. Reminders were sent to anyone who had not replied, and if no further response was received from the elector, by law the postal/proxy voting status of that elector was cancelled with effect from 42 days after the initial Notice.
Timescales for Making Absent Vote Applications Prior to Polling:
The latest date for making a new application for a postal vote is 5 pm, eleven days before Polling Day.
The latest date for making a new application for a proxy vote is 5 pm, six days before Polling Day.
The latest date for amending an existing postal or postal proxy application is 5 pm eleven days before Polling Day.
In the case of a medical emergency on the grounds of unforeseen physical incapacity, a proxy application can be received up until 5pm on the day of poll.
For further information on voting please visit the Electoral Commission's website.
Only people whose names appear on the Register of Electors are entitled to vote.
To vote at Parliamentary or Local Elections (District, Parish and County Elections), a person must also:
- Be eighteen years or older on polling day.
- Be a British, Commonwealth, Irish or European Union citizen.
- Not be subject to any legal incapacity to vote, such as being in prison.
European Union citizens (other than British or Irish Citizens) are only entitled to vote at Local Elections and European Parliamentary Elections. There is no entitlement to vote at UK Parliamentary (General) Elections. Overseas electors (eligible British citizens living abroad) may register and vote at Parliamentary and European Parliamentary Elections only for a period of up to 15 years after they have left the country. There is no entitlement to vote at Local Elections.
You need to register at the address you are living at unless you are living overseas, in the Armed Forces or a Crown Servant. If you are a British citizen resident overseas, in the Armed Services or are a Crown Servant serving overseas, find out about registering to vote and voting by visiting the Electoral Commission website.
You will receive a poll card prior to the Election advising you of your Electoral Number, the date of the Election, the name of the polling station and how to cast your vote.
There are different rules for each type of Election:
UK Parliamentary Elections
The maximum period allowed between UK Parliamentary Elections is five years. There is no statutory minimum period. The last UK Parliamentary Election in the Thirsk and Malton Constituency was held in May 2015.
European Parliamentary Elections
European Parliamentary Elections are held every five years with the last elections taking place on 22 May 2014. View the results for the Ryedale local counting area.
Local Government Elections
Elections for the District, Parishes and County are held every four years, normally on the first Thursday in May. The last ordinary Elections of District and Parish Councillors in Ryedale were held in May 2015.
Ryedale District Council Elections
Ryedale is divided into 20 Wards for the purposes of District Elections, with each Ward returning between one and three Councillors. There are 30 Councillors in total representing the District of Ryedale and all our Elections are held every four years. The last District Council Election was held on 7 May 2015.
The District of Ryedale is divided into 121 Parishes of which 91 Parishes are large enough to have their own Parish Councillors. The remaining Parishes hold regular Parish Meetings. Every Parish must have an annual Parish Meeting, which all Local Government electors for the Parish are entitled to attend. Elections for Parish/Town Council Elections are held at the same time as District Elections and Parish/Town Councillors are elected for a term of four years.
County Council Elections
The District of Ryedale is divided into six County Divisions, each returning one elected Councillor to North Yorkshire County Council. The six Divisions are Hovingham and Sheriff Hutton; Kirkbymoorside; Malton; Norton; Thornton Dale and the Wolds; Pickering. North Yorkshire County Council Elections are every four years and are normally held on the first Thursday in May. The last County Council Election was on 2 May 2013.
Police and Crime Commissioner Elections
The Police and Crime Commissioner elections took place across Yorkshire in May 2016 .
If you have any queries or for further information, please email Elections or tel. 01653 600666.