Published on 7th December 2017

Voting form and pencil

Cheltenham Borough Council is urging residents who have received a register to vote form to respond as soon as they can to make sure they don’t miss out.

Many residents have now been sent an application to register to vote and need to reply in order to make sure they can have their say.

There are a number of ways in which to reply:

Registering only takes a few minutes and all you need is your name, address, date of birth and national insurance number.

Every day, vital decisions affecting all our lives are taken by members of parliament and local councillors elected by the people. You can help choose them by voting. If you don't register, you won't be able to vote, and you will lose your chance to influence the way things are run.

Pat Pratley electoral registration officer, said: “It’s important to register now to ensure you have a voice in the next scheduled elections which are taking place in Cheltenham on 3 May 2018.”

Kim Smith, elections and registration manager, continued: “Remember, you aren’t automatically registered just because you pay council tax or if you have registered previously. Registering is the only way to make sure you can have your say.”

If your name does not appear on the electoral register you will be unable to vote and it may adversely affect your credit score.

Common myths surrounding electoral registration include:

  • I pay council tax, so I’m registered.
    Untrue - The council tax register and the electoral register are two separate registers and are completely different. The council tax register shows the name of the bill payer but not necessarily the people who live at the property. For this and many other legal reasons, the electoral registration officer is not permitted to take names from the council tax register and put them on the electoral register.
  • My credit score will be affected if I’m not on the register.
    True - You may be told by a bank or credit reference agency that you have been denied credit because your name does not appear on the electoral register. This is because the electoral register is often used for credit referencing purposes to counteract fraud. Occasionally the records maintained by credit reference agencies need updating - they should be able to supply you with a copy of your record so that you can check the details.

For more information on voting visit

For press enquiries contact Laura Carter, communications officer, 01242 264154, email

Notes to editors

1. British, Irish, qualifying Commonwealth and EU citizens who are resident in the UK are eligible to join the electoral register.

2. Although you cannot vote until you are 18, you can be included on the electoral register from the age of 17