You must be registered with us to vote

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You can only vote at an election if your name is on the register of electors.  We update the register every autumn.  However, you do not have to wait until then to register, we can add, delete and amend names and addresses throughout the year under Rolling Registration.

If you have recently moved within or to Copeland from another area you will need to complete a new voter registration form.  If your details are incorrect or have changed please write to us to update our records.

You can download a voter registration form here to complete and return by post or alternatively you can contact the Electoral Registration Office and we will post an application form out to you.  Everyone who puts their name on the form must sign in person, someone else cannot do it for you.

If your form is completed correctly your details will be added to our list of new applications.  If your application is not objected to, we will change your details within four weeks of receiving your form.  We will write to you when your application is approved.

Annual Canvass

Each year Copeland  Borough Council is required to undertake an Annual Canvass of all households in the Borough to ensure we hold the correct details in our Electoral Register. The canvass for the 2014 Register of Electors will take place between October 2013 and January 2014. The revised register of electors will be published by 17 February 2014.

An annual registration form will be sent to every household in the Borough listing all the people we currently have on the register.  You must by law return the form each year, whether you choose to use your vote or not it’s your choice. 

The Register of Electors is often used to confirm an individual’s address, especially if they are applying for credit such as a mortgage, personal loan or even a mobile phone.  If you are not registered you will probably be refused credit as well as losing your right to have your say via the ballot box.

You need to be included on the registration form if you are: 

  • 18 and over 
  • British, Irish, European or qualifying Commonwealth citizen 
  • 16 and 17 years olds - please state date of birth 
  • Living at an address within Copeland Borough

Don’t assume that because you were registered last year that your name will be automatically included in this year’s Register of Electors.  Also, being on the Council Tax Register does not automatically mean that you are on the Register of Electors as the two registers contain different information.

If you do not receive a registration form or you require help, please speak to a member of staff by contacting the Electoral Services Office on 0845 054 8600 or email your request to

How to register to vote

If there are NO changes to the form 

If all the details on the form are correct, other than to add or remove existing members of the household from the edited register, you can either: 

  • Use our secure Internet service to confirm there are no changes to the details, the address is  The service is easy and safe to use.
  • Use the Freephone service at 0808 284 1462 to confirm there are no changes to the existing details; or.
  • Simply text your security codes to 07786 209362. A confirmation message will be sent to your mobile phone if your update has been successful. 

You can also indicate your choice whether or not you want your name included in the edited register and request a postal vote application form  when using the internet or Freephone registration service; and also on the internet registration service  indicate if an elector will be over 70 on 17 February 2014 and thereby exempt from jury service

PLEASE NOTE: To use any of the above services you will need to have your two part security code to hand (printed on the right hand side of your registration form).  For more information on how to use the above services please see the instructions on your registration form.

If there ARE changes to the form 

 If there are changes to the elector details on the form, other than changes to the edited register or to mark an elector as being over 70, for example to add or remove a name or to amend a name , you cannot use the Internet , Freephone or SMS service.

You should make any changes to the elector details on the form and form and then return it to us by post in the pre-paid envelope supplied with your form.  If people have moved simply cross out their names and write in the names of the current qualifying residents, sign the form and return to us.  If the property is empty simply tick the appropriate box to tell us why the property is empty, sign the form and return to us. 


Change to Information provided on your Registration Form

When you receive your annual registration form, the information we hold is pre-printed on that form.

Following a legal challenge and on the advice of the Electoral Commission, all local authorities, including Copeland Borough Council, will not be pre-ticking your previous opt-out choice from the edited register on this year's form.

Consequently, if you DO NOT wish to appear on the edited register you MUST mark a tick in the box headed edited register. You can also mark your choice when registering through the internet or Freephone registration service.

 (See information about the full and edited register below and on the reverse side of your form)

The two versions of the register

There are two versions of the register, the full version and the edited version. When you fill in your registration form you will be able to choose whether you want your details to appear on the edited register. 

The full register lists the names and address of everyone who is entitled 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 allowed by law.

The main use 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 allowed by 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. 

If you do not want your details to appear on the edited version of the register, you can choose to have your name excluded from it by ticking the relevant box on the voter registration form.  

If a tick is already pre-printed on the form, this indicates that you have previously chosen to exclude your name from the Edited register. You are not bound by your previous decision.

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