The Register of Electors

The Register of Electors is a list of everyone within the local authority area who is eligible to vote.

Ballot Box To qualify to be registered to vote you must be:

  • resident in the registration area, a British, other Commonwealth, Irish or European Union citizen* 
  • aged 18 or over (16 & 17 year olds can register but cannot vote until they are 18 except in the 2014 Scottish Referendum**) 
  • not subject to any legal incapacity

* Citizens of the European Union may only register as local government and Scottish Parliamentary electors in the first instance. They can also choose to register as European Parliamentary electors.
** 16 and 17 year olds will be eligible to vote in the Scottish Independence Referendum on 18 September 2014.

Maintaining the Register

The Register is held and maintained by the Council.

  • The register is updated on a monthly basis to reflect changes in people's circumstances. For example, if you move house and notify the Electoral Registration Officer of the change early in March, your name could be added to the Register at the beginning of April.
  • Register updates are suspended during the annual canvass. Enquiry forms are issued to each household, requesting details of eligible residents.
  • The information captured during the annual canvass is used to compile a new register.
  • Electors can choose to have their names excluded from the version of the Register made available for sale (the "Edited Register") whilst remaining on the version used at elections (the "Full Register").
  • The intention behind the change is to safeguard the privacy of electors and restrict unwanted "junk mail".
  • The Full Register is a public document and is available for inspection under supervision at public libraries, council offices and at the office of the Electoral Registration Officer.
  • There will be a separate Register of Young Voters (RYV) for those who will be 16 or 17 years old on or before the Scottish Referendum on 18 September 2014 and therefore eligible to vote in the Referendum. Separate Young Voters' forms were sent to households after 1 October 2013 and eligible young voters should complete their details and return to the Electoral Registration Officer as soon as possible.

If your name is not on the Register, you cannot vote!

Visit the About my vote website to Register

Once you have registered to vote - you may opt to vote by post or proxy (appoint someone to vote on your behalf)

Find out more information on the Council's website on Postal and Proxy Voting 

Cross on a ballot paper

Service Electors

The following people are entitled to vote as service electors:

  • serving members of the armed forces and their spouses (for whom the entitlement exists as an alternative to registering as civilian electors if resident in the UK)
  • British Council staff and Crown Servants in posts abroad and their spouses

This is done by completing and submitting the appropriate Service Declaration form, which includes the facility to apply to vote by post or proxy. The Declaration lasts for 12 months. The Electoral Registration Officer is obliged to send a reminder and a new application form to the elector between 9 and 10 months from the date on which the entry on the Register took effect.

Homeless People

A person who has no fixed address can still register to vote by means of a Declaration of Local Connection. The Declaration lasts for 12 months. The Electoral Registration Officer is obliged to send a reminder and a new application form to the elector between 9 and 10 months from the date on which the entry on the Register took effect. Contact the Electoral Registration Officer for details of how to register to vote in this way.

Overseas Electors

British citizens resident abroad can register to vote by means of an Overseas Elector's Declaration, provided that on that date the Declaration is made:

  • they are not subject to any legal incapacity vote
  • they were once registered to vote in the UK and less than 15 years have elapsed since the Register they were on was in force or a parent or guardian was so registered
  • if the applicant was too young to register to vote at the time

The Declaration lasts for 12 months. The ERO is obliged to send a reminder and a new application form to the elector between 9 and 10 months from the date on which the entry on the Register took effect. 


Annual Canvass of Electors

The revised register of electors was published on 10th March 2014.  To ensure you are included in the register please return your registration form as soon as possible.  Please contact the ERO should you need an application form or download a copy from aboutmyvote.co.uk.

Scottish Referendum

Young Voters who will be 16 by the 18th September 2014 are entitled to vote in the referendum.  You have until September to register.  Young Voter Registration Forms are available from the ERO or via aboutmyvote.co.uk.  Don't miss this chance to have a say about your future.

Individual Electoral Registration

Under the terms of the Electoral Registration and Administration Act a new system of Individual Electoral Registration is to be introduced from 1 October 2014. This will replace the existing system of the household canvass whereby it is the responsibility of the householder to complete and return the registration form. Under the new system, to guarantee the authenticity of applications, individuals will be required to provide their National Insurance number and date of birth.

What do I need to do?

Nothing yet - You will be contacted with further information nearer the time. Around two thirds of existing electors will not be required to take any action to remain registered because their details will be checked and added to the new system automatically.

Related Information

Contact Details


Electoral Registration Officer

Carmont House
The Crichton
Bankend Road

Tel: 01387 260627
Fax: 01387 260632
Email this contact

Related Documents

External Links

Contact Dumfries and Galloway Council T: 030 33 33 3000

Council Offices
English Street

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