Registering to vote
The easiest way to register is to go to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote on your computer, tablet or smartphone. The application takes roughly 5 minutes and will ask for your name, date of birth, nationality, national insurance number and a few other details. Your national insurance number can be found on a national insurance card, on payslips, or on official paperwork from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs regarding pensions, benefits or tax queries.
You may also register by calling or emailing your local elections office - links at the end of this section, as long as you have all of the necessary details as listed above.
The deadline for registering to vote for the elections in May is Monday 19 April 2021.
Voting at a polling station
Work is underway to ensure that residents can cast their votes safely during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with a range of measures being planned to support electors, candidates and staff.
Postal voting is when you receive one or more voting packs containing your ballot paper(s) and a statement that you will be required to complete. The deadline to apply for a postal vote for the elections on 6 May 2021 is 5pm on Tuesday 20 April 2021.
At these elections, there will be one postal voting pack that will contain ballot papers for the North Northamptonshire election and the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner elections. We will also be sending out separate postal voting packs for any contested town and parish council elections, and neighbourhood planning referendums.
If you have an existing postal vote or return your application by 5 April, then you can expect to receive your postal vote pack(s) shortly after 16 April. If you apply for your postal vote between 6 April and the deadline, 5pm on Tuesday 20 April, then you should expect to receive your postal voting pack(s) shortly after 26 April.
All postal packs are sent by first class post and have reply envelopes enclosed. If you don’t get your postal pack back in the post in time, then you can hand it in to the office or to your polling station on polling day. All postal votes must be returned by 10pm on polling day to be counted for the election.
Apply for a postal vote and return it to your local election office here:
Priority post boxes
Royal Mail Priority Post Boxes were introduced to help with the collection and onward delivery of COVID test kits, but as elections are also a priority mailing, these postal boxes can also be used for your postal vote.
There are 35,000 Priority Post Boxes across the country and these boxes have early and late collection times, with 15,000 of them having a collection 3-5pm on both Saturday and Sunday.
Go to www.royalmail.com/priority-postboxes to find a priority box in your area.
If you can’t make it to the polling station on the day and don’t want to vote by post or have missed the deadline to apply for a postal vote, then you can appoint someone to vote on your behalf, known as voting by proxy.
The deadline for appointing a proxy is 5pm on Tuesday 27 April 2021. Your proxy doesn’t need to live locally, but they do have to be registered and eligible to vote at these elections, and will either need to visit the polling station you would normally go to, or they can apply to vote on your behalf.
If your proxy wants to vote by post then you must appoint your proxy before the postal vote deadline, and they will have to complete a postal proxy application form and return it before 5pm on Tuesday 20 April.
Apply for a proxy vote and return it to your local elections office here:
Emergency Proxy Voting
If, after 5pm on Tuesday 20 April, you find out you are unable to go to the polling station because of either work or a medical emergency – for example, you may have been asked to travel away for work, or have been called in for an important medical appointment or operation – then you can apply for an emergency proxy.
This type of proxy will need to be attested by either your employer (or, if you are self-employed, by someone who is known to you and is over 18) or by a medical professional confirming that you will not be able to attend the polling station on Thursday 6 May 2021.
If you have fallen ill with coronavirus symptoms, or as a result of government guidance have been advised that you must self-isolate, you can appoint an emergency proxy that does not require attestation.
You can appoint an emergency proxy up until 5pm on polling day. Emergency proxy forms must be returned to your local elections office and cannot be taken in to the polling station.
To apply for an emergency proxy vote, please contact your local elections office:
- Elections 2021
- Registering to vote (you are here)
- Standing for election
- Town and parish council elections
- Neighbourhood planning referendums
- Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner election
- COVID-19: how we will protect voters and staff
- Media attendance at count
- Current elections and Election notices