Under the system of Individual Electoral Registration (see below), each person of voting age is responsible for making sure that they are on the electoral register. We’ve prepared a quick Question and Answer sheet, with links and information to help people register to vote here in Manchester. Why not forward a link to this page to someone you know who isn’t on the register?
How do I register to vote?
I don’t know my National Insurance number. Where can I find it?
If you are (or have been recently) in work, you receive benefits or you’re a tax payer, then you’ll find your NI number on your payslip, P60, P45, tax documents or official letters about benefits or tax credits. It looks something like AB123456Z (ie 2 letters, 6 numbers and another letter – 9 characters in total). If you still can’t find it, go to this web page and follow the links there. You could also call the Elections Office at Manchester Town Hall on 0161 234 1212 and they will tell you the other ways you can prove your identity.
What about friends, relatives or neighbours who don’t use the internet?
They should phone the Elections Office at the Town Hall – see number above.
I’ve never had to register before – someone always did it for me. What’s changed?
Under the new system, called Individual Electoral Registration (IER), everyone of voting age must register individually. You can find out more about it on this web page.
I don’t know whether I’m on the register or not. Can I check?
I’m a student. Do I register at home or at Uni?
You can register at both your parents’ home and at your University residence. In a General Election, you can only vote once – but in local elections you are allowed to vote in both locations, provided they are in different local authorities. There’s a bit more information on this web page.
I’m trying to get my friend/son/neighbour to register, but they say they can’t be bothered. How can I encourage them?
Obviously, if they aren’t registered they can’t vote, and will have no say over who takes important decisions that will affect their lives. But you could also point out that they may also find it much harder to get a good credit rating in the future – as a leading credit agency points out here. They may also have problems with passport applications, for example, and in other situations where their identity has to be checked. You could also remind them that everyone is legally required to register, and (in theory anyway) they could be fined £80 if they don’t.
Where can I find out more?