Register to vote
The next planned elections in our area are on Thursday 6 May 2021 when you get the chance to elect councillors to Suffolk County Council and the Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner.
To have your say you need to make sure you are registered to vote.
How do I register to vote?
Registering to vote is easy. Head over to gov.uk/register-to-vote.
Registering to vote will take about five minutes.
To register, you need your national insurance number and address. Every UK resident with the right to work is issued with a national insurance number at age 16. You can find the number on your national insurance card, or on a payslip from your employer. But you can still register if you do not have one.
After you’ve registered, your name and address will appear on the electoral register. This will allow you to vote.
Am I already registered to vote?
If you’re not sure if you’ve already registered, contact your local Electoral Registration Office to find out if you’re already registered.
You can’t register to vote twice. So if you’re not sure you can put your details in again.
Why postal vote?
Postal voting means you can vote without actually having to go to the polling station.
This is particularly good for students, people who work away, who have holidays planned or just those that might find it hard to get to the polling station on election day.
You will usually get your ballot paper well before the election, giving you more time to cast your vote and post it back.
Who can apply for a postal vote?
Anyone can apply for a postal vote.
Where can I vote?
If you’ve not applied for a postal vote, you will be able to vote at your local polling station.
Before the election, you will normally be sent a card through the post with details of where your local polling station is. Polling stations are usually very close to your home.
Don’t worry if you haven’t been sent a card. If you have registered to vote and had the application accepted, you will be able to vote. You just have to go to the polling station and give your name and address.
What's a proxy vote?
A proxy vote lets a trusted friend or relative vote on your behalf, either by post or at the polling station.
If you're using a proxy vote, you must make sure that the person voting on your behalf knows which candidate(s) you want to vote for so they can mark the ballot paper correctly.
A one-off proxy vote for a specific election is available to anyone, providing you have a valid reason. You can also apply for a proxy vote valid for three years if you regularly work away from home, if you're a student studying away from home, or if you find it difficult to get to the polling station.
Before applying for a proxy vote you might want to consider if a postal vote would be best for you.