Election guide for voting in Derby

Every eligible voter in Derby is responsible for making sure they have registered to vote. Following the electoral reforms in 2014, it is no longer the duty of the head of the household. You can do this by:

  • filling in an online form by visiting www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
  • requesting and filling in a paper version and posting it to us
  • over the phone by calling us.

Once you’re added that’s it, you do not need to re-register every year! However, if you move house or change your name, you will need to re-register. We do send each household a form every year to confirm the details of all who are eligible to vote at each property in the city. The form is normally sent around August and helps us to compile an accurate electoral register.

Registration is quick and easy, it takes a few minutes and you will need to have your National Insurance number to hand. You need to make sure you have registered to vote at least 12 working days before an election. 

If you’re aged 16 or 17 you can still register, however you won’t be able to vote until you are 18.

If you don’t want to vote, it’s still important to register. Being registered may improve your credit rating.

For more information on registering to vote read our FAQ's at the bottom of the page or visit the Electoral Commission Website.

If you can’t attend your local polling station there are several options for you.

Postal votes

If you’re registered to vote but are unable to attend a polling station to cast your vote then you may be eligible for a Postal Vote.

You can apply to have a postal vote for just one election, a fixed period, or on a permanent basis. To apply you will need to complete the ‌, providing a sample of your signature and your date of birth.

Once you have fully completed your application you can scan and send it to postalvoting@derby.gov.uk or return it to Electoral Services, The Council House, Corporation Street, Derby, DE1 2FS. You must return this application to us at the very latest by 5pm, 11 working days before an election.

Once you receive your postal vote (usually 10 working days before an election) you need to complete it and make sure we receive it by 10pm on Election Day for it to count. Sometimes postal votes can get lost, so if you haven’t had yours by four working days before the election, contacts us.

Top tips for using a postal vote:

  • Complete your postal vote in private and do not let anyone else see it.
  • Do not let anyone else vote for you.
  • Do not give your ballot paper or postal pack to anyone else.
  • Seal all envelopes yourself.
  • Take your postal vote to the post box yourself, if this is not possible give it to someone you know and trust to post it for you.
  • You can also deliver your postal vote to your polling station on Election Day.

If anyone tries to help you against your will, or forces you to give them your postal vote, you should contact the police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit the Crimestoppers website. You can also report a concern using our online form.  

Proxy votes

If you’re registered to vote but are unable to attend a polling station to cast your vote then you may be eligible for a proxy vote. Download the Proxy vote application form.

A proxy vote allows you to nominate a person you trust to vote on your behalf. The person you nominate must be registered to vote in the UK and be willing to cast your vote on your behalf. If you’re in doubt you can contact us to confirm that the person you nominate qualifies.

You must apply for a proxy vote no later than 5pm, six working days before the election, but we advise applying earlier. Download the Proxy vote application form.

If you fall ill or are called away from Derby for work reasons after the proxy deadline has passed, meaning you can't attend a polling station, you can apply for an emergency proxy vote until 5pm on Election Day. Contact Electoral Services as you will need to complete a form. In the case of a medical emergency the application will need to be supported and signed by a registered medical practitioner, a registered nurse or a Christian Science practitioner. In the case of a work emergency application the application will need to be supported by your employer.

On Election Day, voters will visit one of our 86 polling stations. Polling stations in Derby are usually based in community locations such as community centres, schools and other public buildings. When you receive your poll card it will tell you which polling station to attend on the day. All polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm.

Alternatively, you can find your local polling station on our map.

Polling stations are run by Presiding Officers and Poll Clerks; they ensure that everything runs smoothly and legally. 

Once your ID has been checked, you will be given a ballot paper, take your ballot paper into a polling booth so that no one can see how you vote.

In most elections you should only mark your ballot paper with a single cross (X) in the box next to your choice. Follow the instructions displayed in the voting compartment. If you write or draw on your ballot paper it may not count and be classed as a ‘spoilt ballot paper’. When you have voted, fold your ballot paper in half and put it in the ballot box. For more information about how to vote, visit the Electoral Commission website.

Voter ID - The Way you vote is changing

On 2 May 2019, Derby will be taking part in a Voter ID pilot. The information collected from pilot areas in the Country will help to increase the security of the voting process and reduce the risk of voter fraud.

Derby's Voter ID pilot means that electors voting at their polling station on 2 May must produce some form of acceptable Identification (ID) before they are given a ballot paper. Voters will need either one form of photo ID or two forms of non-photo ID. Voters will not be able to vote without providing ID.

There will be no change if you are a postal voter.

Electoral Register 2019

The current Electoral Register is for the period 1 December 2018 to 30 November 2019. Throughout this time, electors can be added, deleted or have their details changed. The register is updated in the first few days of every month until 2 September 2019. The Electoral Register is a public document, see the section below ‘How can I search the electoral register to find someone?’ for details about inspection arrangements.

Publication of verification number

For details on the Publication of verification number

You can view:

  • the full register at our office. Contact us for information and to book an appointment.
  • the open register at our office and at certain libraries. Contact us for more information.

If you need to supply proof that you are registered to vote at a particular address, you can request a 'Certificate of Residency' by contacting Electoral Services by phone or email.

We will send a certificate by post to the registered address of the elector or it can be collected from the Council House by arrangement. If collecting you will need to supply ID so that we can verify your details.

Please contact us before your visit to confirm we can do this and when to collect it.

The electoral register is a public document.

You cannot do a search by name only as the register is compiled by address. The register is not available to search online.

The open register can be used by anyone for any purpose: there are no restrictions on its use. 

Back copies of the open register can normally be viewed at the Local Studies Library. The Local Studies Library Service is based at Riverside Chambers in Full Street Derby. For more details visit our Local studies collection page or call the The Local Studies Library on 01332 642240

The full register can only be inspected by appointment and under supervision at the Electoral Services Office. It is an offence to make copies of the full register, other than by handwritten notes.

There are a number of people finder web sites that might be useful to people searching for lost relatives and so on; contact us for details.

You can now register online on the Register to Vote section of the Government's website. Everyone is responsible for registering themselves, rather than just the 'head of every household'. Under this old system they would register everyone who lived at their address - this is no longer the case. 

However you will need to provide a few more details to register – including your national insurance number and date of birth. This makes the registration more secure.

Simply visit the Register to Vote section of the Government's website. You will then be asked to fill in your name, address, date of birth and a few other details. You’ll also need 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. Finally just look out for a confirmation letter to say you are registered.

We are writing to people to tell them whether they need to take action - look out for this letter between Thursday 24th July and Sunday 3rd August 2014.

Most people who are already registered to vote will be registered automatically under the new system. They do not need to do anything.

If you are asked to respond to the letter, make sure you do this. The letter will tell you whether you are on the new register or whether you need to take action. Either way, it will tell you what to do.

You may need to re-register under the new system if you have changed address or your name has changed since you received a confirmation that you were registered, or if you did not receive a letter.

Visit the Your Vote Matters section of the Government's website for further details.