You can only vote in elections if your name is on the Register of Electors. The Register is updated in the autumn each year using the details from the registration forms delivered to every household. A new Register is then published on 1 December every year.
Moved home? Coming up to 18? Just not on the register?
If you've moved since the Register was compiled or have been missed off, you can get your details amended. All you have to do is to fill in a Voter Registration Form. You have to sign your own form, someone else cannot do it for you.
Registration forms are available from the Council's main reception points at the Municipal Offices, Grimsby; Civic Offices, Cleethorpes; and Kennedy Way, Immingham. Alternatively, print off the registration form in the Downloads section at the bottom of this page.
The completed form should be returned to the Electoral Registration Office, North East Lincolnshire Council, Municipal Offices, Town Hall Square, Grimsby, DN31 1HU.
Who can register to vote?
You can register to vote if you are 16 years old or over and a British citizen or Irish citizen, qualifying Commonwealth or European Union citizen who is resident in the UK.
If you are 16 or 17, you can only register if you will be 18 within the lifetime of the electoral register. You cannot vote until you are 18.
You can find a full list of Commonwealth and European Union countries by visiting AboutMyVote.co.uk.
If you are a citizen of one of these countries, and resident in the UK, you are eligible to register to vote in UK elections. To qualify, Commonwealth citizens must be resident in the UK and either have leave to remain in the UK or not require such leave. The definition of a 'Commonwealth citizen' includes citizens of British Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories.
Citizens of the European Union who are not Commonwealth citizens can vote in European and local elections in the UK, but are not able to vote in UK Parliamentary general elections.
Who has access to the electoral register?
The electoral registration officer makes and keeps two versions of the electoral register - the full register and the edited register. When you fill in your registration form, you can say if you wish your name and address to be excluded from the edited register.
The full register lists the name and address of everyone who is registered to vote. The council holds a copy. Anyone can look at it, but it is a criminal offence to supply or use copies for purposes other than those set down in law. More information is available at www.aboutmyvote.co.uk
The main purpose of the full register is to show who can vote in elections and referendums. Credit reference agencies can use it but only to check your name and address if you are applying for credit and for other purposes specified in law. It can also be used for law enforcement.
The edited register is available for general sale and can be used for any purpose. The edited register can be bought by any person, company or organisation and can be used for commercial activities such as marketing.
How do I make my choice?
If you tick the box in section 4 on the Voter Registration Form, your name and address will only appear on the full register, which will only be used for certain lawful purposes, such as elections, law enforcement and checking applications for credit.
If you do not tick the box in section 4 on the Voter Registration Form, your name will also appear on the edited version of the register, which anyone can buy. This means anyone can use your details for any purpose.
What are the different types of election?
Electors in North East Lincolnshire have the opportunity to vote in several types of election.
Local government elections - There are 42 councillors on North East Lincolnshire Council. The Council's area is divided into 15 wards - 12 with three councillors and 3 with two councillors each. Elections are held in three years out of four. Council elections will be held in 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012 and so on.
There are also 14 parish or town councils in North East Lincolnshire and elections to these are held every four years. The next elections will be held in May 2011.
UK parliamentary elections - parliament is elected for a maximum period of 5 years but the Prime Minister may request an election at any time within that term. The last parliamentary election was held in May 2010. The area of North East Lincolnshire is covered by the two parliamentary constituencies of Great Grimsby and Cleethorpes.
European parliamentary elections - the European Parliament is elected for a fixed term of 5 years. The Members of the European parliament representing the UK are elected using a system of proportional representation. North East Lincolnshire is included in the Yorkshire and the Humber electoral region, and there are 6 MEPs for this Region. The next elections to the European Parliament will be held in June 2014.
How do I vote?
(A) If you are on the electoral register, a poll card will be sent to you before the election. This will tell you where your polling station is. The polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm.
If you are granted a postal vote, this will be sent to you one to two weeks before election day. The ballot pack will contain instructions on how to complete and return your ballot paper. You should post your envelope in good time for it to reach the council offices. You cannot get a ballot paper from a polling station if you have been issued with a postal vote.
Anyone can apply for a postal vote at an election. You can also apply for someone else to vote for you if, for example, you are blind or disabled, or if you will be away from home during an election. Please contact the Electoral Registration Office for details.
There is a deadline of 5 pm. eleven working days before the day of an election for the receipt of new postal vote applications and six working days before the day of election for the receipt of new proxy vote applications. You can download a Postal Vote and Proxy Vote Application Forms at the bottom of this page.
Applications must be signed by the elector and returned to the Electoral Registration Office, North East Lincolnshire Council, Municipal Offices, Town Hall Square, Grimsby, DN31 1HU.
(B) If you appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf, he or she must go to your polling station to vote on election day. Your proxy will be sent a letter before polling day which gives them the details. You must let your proxy know how you want them to vote on your behalf. If you find that you are able to go to the polling station on election day, you may do so providing that your proxy has not already been and voted on your behalf.