Register to vote

You must be registered in order to vote. You are not automatically registered, even if you pay Council Tax.​ There are no elections scheduled at present, but you can still register to vote in advance so as you are prepared.

May 2020 scheduled elections

The Government have announced they plan to postpone the election in May until 2021. We will update this information once the postponement has become law.

Local by-elections

All local by-elections have also been postponed.

Annual voter canvass 2020​

From August 2020, Newham Electoral Services will be carrying out a canvass of all properties in the borough, in order to ensure that we have the correct voters registered at each property. We will do this by contacting every address.

  • If we hold an email address on our records you may receive an email from [email protected]
  • If we hold a mobile phone number on our records, you may receive a SMS text message from ‘LBNewham’
  • We may also contact you by post

Please note, we will be contacting properties in different phases, so not all addresses will receive something from us at the same time.

Received an email or SMS for an address you no longer live at?

If you have received something from us regarding an address at which you are no longer resident, please email [email protected] so we can begin the process of removing your details from our records.

How to respond

The quickest and easiest way to respond to your form is online on the Household update sevice. You need the security codes on the form or email we sent to complete this.

Where possible please use the online response service, as this will save the council money. If you do not have access to a phone or the internet, you can complete the form and return it by post to Civica Election Services, London N81 1ER.

Please respond straightaway. If we don’t receive a prompt response, we are required to send reminders and employ canvassers to visit your property, which costs the council money.

What happens once a new name has been provided on the form or website?

Where new names are provided, a registration form will be sent by post or emailed to those eligible to register to vote. These names will not be included in the electoral register until the individuals have made successful applications to register to vote. There is no need to wait for the individual registration form to be sent. Any new residents who are eligible to vote should register to vote (GOV.UK) as soon as possible.

Purpose of the annual canvass

By law, we must contact every residential address each year. This provides us with updated information about who is living at each address (including any 16 or 17 year olds). This information is then used to invite unregistered residents to register to vote, and to remove names of electors who are no longer living at the address.

Additions and Amendments made to the electoral register during the household canvass will take effect upon publication of the revised Register of Electors on the 1 December 2020.   

Register to vote (or update your details)

You can use the Government's register to vote service to:

  • Get on the electoral register
  • Change your details (your name or address)

Make sure you have your National Insurance number to hand.

Why you should register to vote

  • The electoral register is used by credit reference agencies to check your name and address if you are applying for credit.
  • If your name is not on the register, you may not be able to get credit, a mortgage or a mobile phone contract.
  • Schools may use the electoral register to check that you live within their catchment area.
  • We may check the register when you request a resident’s parking permit.
  • It is a criminal offence to refuse to complete the registration form or to give false information, carrying a fine of up to £1,000.

Who can register to vote

You can register to vote if you are 16 years of age and over, resident in the UK and you are:

  • A UK citizen
  • A qualifying Commonwealth citizen
  • A citizen of the Irish Republic
  • A citizen of the European Union (EU)
  • Not legally excluded from voting.

List of qualifying Commonwealth countries

European Union (EU) citizens

If you are a citizen of an EU country other than the Republic of Ireland, Malta and Cyprus you are not entitled to vote in UK parliamentary elections, but you are eligible to vote in European parliamentary, local council and mayoral, London Assembly and London mayoral elections. 

Expatriate UK citizens

If you are living outside the UK, you may register to vote in UK and European parliamentary elections for up to 15 years since you were last registered on the electoral register at a UK address or as a service elector.

The electoral register

​The electoral register is a list of everyone who is entitled to vote. We make and keep two versions of the borough’s register of electors – a full version and an edited version.

Full register

The full version of the electoral register lists everyone who is entitled to vote. By law, it can only be used for electoral purposes, prevention and detection of crime and checking your identity when you apply for credit. It is a criminal offence to pass it on to anyone else or to use it for any other purpose.

Edited or open register

The edited version of the register leaves out the names and addresses of people who have asked to be excluded from it. It is available for sale and can be used by anyone for any purpose. For example, direct mailing companies may use it to send you information about goods and services.

Removing your details from the public register

You can choose not to have your details on the open register. You should mark your preference when you apply to register to vote.

When we update the electoral register

Between January and September we update the electoral register with any changes on the first working day of the month. This allows you to tell us that your details have changed throughout the year.

Between September and December we close the register while we hold our annual review. We publish the revised electoral register on 1 December.

Inspecting the electoral register

You can inspect the full version of the register at Stratford library. Stores and Archives. To book a one-hour appointment, telephone 020 3373 6881.

You may take handwritten notes but you are not allowed to photocopy pages of the register.

Petitions for a referendum

You can petition us if you would like us to hold a referendum on changing the way Newham is governed (from a directly elected Mayor to a committee system).

Your petition must be signed by at least 5 per cent of those registered to vote in local government elections in the borough.

The number that is equal to 5% of the number of local government electors shown in the revised register of electors having effect on 15 February 2020 is 11,100.

This figure will have effect for the purposes of determining the validity of Petitions presented from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021.

The number equal to 5% of the local government electors for 2020 will be published within 14 days of 15 February 2020. If this number is less than 11,100, the number to be used for verification purposes in relation to any petition submitted for the period beginning on the date of publication of the lower number until 31 March 2021 shall also be that lower number.

Due to the postponement of all elections and referenda in 2020, the earliest possible date to hold a referendum would be May 2021.