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Register to vote

Registering to vote

In order to register to vote, you will need to:

  • give your name, address, date of birth and a few other details
  • provide your National Insurance Number, which can be found on your National Insurance card, or in official paperwork such as payslips, or letters about benefits or tax credits

If you are unable to use the online registration service, you can telephone our Electoral Services office who can register you online whilst you are on the phone, or we can send you a paper form.

Am I eligible to register to vote?

  • Everyone who is 18 year old or over, a British, Irish, Commonwealth or EU citizen, and living at an address in Copeland on a permanent basis can register to vote. 
  • If someone is 16 or 17 they may be entitled to be included in the Register of Electors so that they can vote as soon as they turn 18.
  • If someone owns, and pays council tax on, a property in the area which is mainly used for holidays and is not occupied for any length of time, they should not be registered for the property but should be registered to vote where they spend the most of their time.

Please remember that paying Council Tax does not mean that you are automatically included on the Register of Electors. You must register to vote separately to be able to vote.

Public servants posted overseas

There are separate registration services for public servants who are likely to be posted overseas:

Armed forces

Crown servants (eg diplomatic service, overseas civil service)

British Council employees

The Register of Electors

The Register of Electors lists everyone who is entitled to vote.  You can only vote in elections if your name is included in the Register.

How to vote

To vote at an election, your name must be on the Register of Electors.

Shortly before an election, you will be sent a polling card which will tell you:

  • the address of your polling station
  • date of the election
  • hours of polling
  • your elector number and address.

You do not need to take the poll card with you to be able to vote.

Vote in person

  • on arrival at your designated polling station, the Presiding Officer will ask you to confirm your name and address and will issue you with a ballot paper.
  • the ballot paper will be marked with an official stamp.
  • you should take the ballot paper to the voting booth and mark with a "X" the candidate(s) you wish to vote for.
  • fold the ballot paper and deposit it in the ballot box.

Polling stations

You can enter your postcode to locate your allocated station.

What if I am unable to get to the polling station on election day?

If you are unable to go to your polling station on election day, you can apply to vote by post or proxy (a proxy is someone who votes on your behalf).

Register for a proxy vote or read more information on the process.

Register for a postal vote or read more information on the process.

We must complete a refresh of postal vote signatures every year.


There is specific information about deadlines for a particular election.

Annual Canvass

Each year, the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) has a legal requirement to conduct an annual canvass to ensure the electoral register is accurate and complete.

The Electoral Registration Annual Canvass 2021 is under way.