Elections and Voting: Frequently Asked Questions

If you are unable to find the answer to your question please contact Electoral Services.

Do I have to bring my poll card to the polling station to vote?
No. You will be asked your name and address by the polling station staff before you are allowed to vote.

Do I have to re-apply for a postal vote each year?
You can arrange a postal vote for the following periods: permanently (until you advise us otherwise); for a certain election; or for a defined period. If you would like to confirm your postal vote arrangements, please contact Electoral Services.

Do you have to send my postal vote to my home address? Can it be sent abroad?
The postal vote can be sent to any address you supply at the time of application. It is your responsibility to ensure that Runnymede Borough Council receives the postal vote by 10pm on polling day. If you are already registered for a postal vote and you would like to change the address your postal vote will be sent to, you will need to provide a reason to have your postal vote re-directed.

How long does it take for my new details to get on the electoral register?
We update the electoral register at the beginning of the month from December to September. Depending on when you submit your application the process will take between two and six weeks.

I have already let my local council know I've moved and I am paying Council Tax at my new address. Can they update the electoral register for me?
No. The Council Tax register and the electoral register are two separate registers. The Electoral Registration Officer is not permitted to take names from the Council Tax register and put them on the electoral register and vice versa.

I have got a postal vote but do not want to use it - can I go to the polling station instead?
You can cancel your postal vote up to 5pm, on the eleventh day before an election. If you do not cancel before this deadline you can only vote by using your postal ballet paper. However, you can hand deliver your postal pack to the polling station before 10pm on the day of the election.

I have married and changed my name, and my name is wrong on the register - can I still vote and can you change it?
You can still vote, because the question to the elector at polling stations is "are you the person on the register shown as ...". You need to advise Electoral Services of the change in writing, as your signature is required. Your amended details will be included on the monthly update of the electoral register.

I have recently moved house and the poll card I have received shows my old address, what should I do?
You should register to vote at your new address. If it is too late to do this before the next election you can still vote by going to your old polling station (shown on the poll card).

I have recently moved house and received two sets of poll cards, one for my new address and one for my old address, what should I do?
If you have not informed us of your previous address you could be registered twice. Please return your poll card showing your old address to the Electoral Services office as soon as possible with correspondence advising of your move and new address. Please note it is an offence to vote twice in the same election.

I recently filled in an application form to go on the register but have now received the annual register of elector form which is addressed to 'The present occupier'. Do I still need to return this form?
Yes. We need to confirm that the details we hold are correct and that no further changes have been made. Anyone that has moved out will need to be removed.

On polling day I cannot get to the polling station due to unforeseen health reasons. Can I still vote?
If after the proxy deadline you discover that you will miss the election for work purposes, or have a medical emergency, there is still a chance that you are eligible for an emergency proxy vote. Please use the emergency proxy application form that is relevant to your situation, to find out if you can vote by proxy. Please return applications to us as soon as possible.

An emergency proxy vote must be attested by a qualified person either a Doctor, Registered Nurse or Christian Science practitioner. If you live in a residential care home or sheltered accommodation the warden or head of home can support the application. For an emergency proxy application form contact Electoral Services.

Postal and Proxy votes - Why do I have to provide my signature and date of birth?
Security measures have been introduced for postal and proxy voting. The signatures and dates of birth will be used to check that your vote is not being used by someone else.

Postal and Proxy Voting - What happens if I cannot provide a signature?
If you are unable to provide a signature, or require help to complete the form please contact Electoral Services.

I am a student, which address should I register at?
If you are a student, you may be able to register to vote at both your home and term time addresses. If your home and term time addresses are in two different local authorities, you can vote in the local elections for both. However, you cannot vote twice in a UK general election (this is a criminal offence).

Someone is registered at my address who doesn't live here any more - can you take them off?
Electors can be removed in any one of the following ways: as a result of the autumn canvass returns; when we are advised by another local authority that the person has been registered by them; or if the elector advises us in writing that they have left the area and wish to be removed from the register.

A relative has died, can you take them off the register?
A relative or executor should inform Electoral Services in writing of the death of an elector. Their name will then be removed from the register.

Where is my polling station?
Details of your polling station will be on your poll card, alternatively, go to www.wheredoivote.co.uk and enter your postcode.