UK residents over 18 can register to vote in local and national elections to take part in the democratic process.
On this page you will find all the information you need on the following:
Information for people with disabilities
Learn how you can vote by accessing the Every Vote Counts website.
For any advice please contact the elections helpline on 0151 443 2222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Mencap and Scope have produced resource packs to support voters with physical or learning difficulties.
The RNIB has information about voting and elections for people with sight loss.
Read a step-by-step easy read guide to registering to vote for people with a learning disability.
The Electoral Commission also has information about accessibility on polling day.
Polling District and Polling Place Review
The council has carried out a review of the polling places used in Knowsley, in order to assess the suitability of the places we currently use.
The electoral register lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote in public elections. The register is used for electoral purposes, such as making sure only eligible people can vote. It is also used for other limited purposes specified in law, such as: detecting crime (for example, fraud), calling people for jury service, checking credit applications.
The open register is an extract of the electoral register, but is not used for elections. It can be bought by any person, company or organisation. For example, it is used by businesses and charities to confirm name and address details.
Removing your details from the open register does not affect your right to vote.
Your name and address will be included in the open register unless you ask for them to be removed. You can remove your details at any time by contacting us via email@example.com or 0151 443 3583.
You can inspect the register of electors in Knowsley at Knowsley libraries.
Who can register to vote
To be able to vote:
- You must be a resident in the electoral area
- You must be a British or Irish citizen, Commonwealth citizen or a citizen of a European Union country
- You must be 18 years of age. 16 or 17 year olds may also be able to register depending on your date of birth
- You must not be subject to any legal incapacity to vote
You can also register if:
- You are working away (unless you are away for more than six months
- You are a resident but are away for the time being (for example - on holiday, students, in hospital - including voluntary patients in psychiatric hospitals)
- You are a lodger or guest (but not short-stay visitors) in the household
- You are an Overseas Elector. Please see 'Overseas Electors' section below.
Crown Servants and Members of the British Council must register annually. Service Voters and their partners must re-register every five years. However, they may choose to register as an ordinary voter at their home address if they wish.
Registering to Vote
If you are not registered to vote, you can register at online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. It only takes a few minutes – you will need your date of birth and national insurance number to register.
Not being registered can also impact on applications for mortgages or mobile phones, since credit reference agencies use the register to validate applications.
We can also send you a form to register, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or 0151 443 3583.
How do I find my National Insurance number?
The easiest place to find your National Insurance number is on official paperwork, such as your National Insurance card, payslips or letters from the Department for Work and Pensions or HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). If you still can’t find it, you can use the HMRC enquiry service.
Please be aware HMRC won't tell you your National Insurance number over the phone. They will post the information to you.
I don't know my date of birth
If you do not know your actual date of birth, you may have been given an official one in the past and this can be used to register to vote. This can be found on paperwork, including a passport, adoption certificate, driving licence or naturalisation certificate.
If you do not have one, you will need to explain why you are unable to provide it in your registration application. We may contact you to ask you for other proof of identity.
I need to change my name on the register.
You will need to provide evidence to support a change of name.
This will include a marriage certificate or deed poll certificate (copies only required). If this information cannot be provided, then your National Insurance Number and Date of Birth must be supplied instead to enable us to match your new name against DWP records.
Annual Canvas 2021
The Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) must conduct an annual canvass to ensure the electoral register is accurate and complete.
As part of this process, a letter confirming who is currently registered (or if the property is registered as empty) will be sent to every residential property in the borough during August. Please respond to this letter if required.
How will the canvass work?
Step 1: Data matching
The Electoral Register was sent securely to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) database to be matched in July. Electors' names and address were matched against National Insurance details and the other information held by the DWP.
In addition to this, the ERO has also undertook a matching exercise with local data (Council Tax and Housing Benefit records).
If all the registered people at a property can be matched by either of the above databases, the property will be sent down Route 1 for the annual canvass.
If there are any people at a property that cannot be matched, the property will be sent down Route 2 for the annual canvass.
Care homes/nursing homes that have a responsible person i.e. a duty manager will be sent down Route 3 for the annual canvass.
Step 2: Routes of communication
We will send the property a form which will have the elector details pre-printed on it.
If these pre-printed details are correct - you do not need to do anything.
If you would like to add or remove someone from the property (or make other changes), go to the website address included on the form (using the security codes listed) to make the change(s).
We will send a form to the property which will have elector details pre-printed on it (if we are aware of any registered electors). A blank form will be sent if the property is empty.
We need a response from this form even if there are no changes to report.
To confirm the pre-printed details are still correct or to add or remove someone's name from the property (or make other changes), go to the website address included on the form (using the security codes listed) to make the change(s). A telephone confirmation option is also available where no changes are required.
Alternatively, you can return the form by post using the envelope provided (to confirm either the details pre-printed are correct or to make the necessary changes).
If we do not receive a response from you, we will make every attempt to get a response from you, this may be via reminder forms, the telephone or a visit to your property.
Next Step - any new electors added above must now also need to register on the Government website.
It only takes a couple of minutes to register and you will need your National Insurance Number
If you are unable to register online, we will send you a registration form.
We will make contact with the care home managers/duty managers and send a letter with a list of those currently registered at the address.
The updated register will be published on 1 December 2021.
For further information please contact us at:
Helpline – 0151 443 2222
Students living away from home
Students are entitled to register at their home address and their university address. Although it is an offence to vote more than once in a national election, you can vote in local elections at both addresses.
If you are a UK citizen living abroad you can register to vote for UK Parliamentary General Elections if you have been registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years. As part of your application you will be asked the address where you were last registered to vote and it will be in that area where your vote will be counted.
Registering to Vote as an Overseas Elector
You can register to vote online the same way an elector in the UK does. The only difference being that an overseas elector must include their passport details.
An overseas registration lasts for a year so should be renewed annually by re-registering to vote online.
When you register to vote, by default you will vote at a polling station, until you complete a second application form to inform us which method you wish to vote by.
How can you vote from overseas?
- Postal vote - You can opt to vote by post (see below), however please take into consideration the time the postal vote will take reach you and then be returned to us by the 10pm deadline on election day. If it does not arrive in time or gets lost in the post, you cannot then change your method of voting. By law, all postal votes must be posted out, we are not allowed to email them to electors.
- Proxy voting - If you are not based in the UK you can appoint someone to vote on your behalf (see below). As an overseas elector we would advise that you apply to vote by proxy if possible. Your appointed proxy has to attend the polling station you were last registered to vote at, so make sure that the person you appoint is familiar with where you would have previously voted.
If your safety or that of any other person in your home will be at risk if your name or address is made public, you can register anonymously. Your name and address will not be visible to anyone inspecting the register.
To register anonymously call us on 0151 443 3603. Do not complete an application online.
To register anonymously you will need to provide court documents or get your application supported and signed by, for example, a senior police officer or director of social services.
Anonymous registration lasts for one year at a time and then must be renewed.
Shortly before an election, you will get a poll card (or postal vote poll card if you are registered to vote by post). The poll card will tell you the election date, where your polling station is and the hours of the poll. You do not need to take this card with you to vote, but it will make things easier if you do. The postal vote card will tell you when to expect your ballot paper(s) by post.
If you don’t receive a poll card, call us on 0151 443 2222 to check you are included on the electoral register.
Postal and proxy voting
If you can't get to the polling station on election day, you can apply for a postal or proxy vote by contacting the elections office on 0151 443 2222 or by email email@example.com
Once registered, we will send ballot papers to your home address before the election. You should then complete and return your ballot paper in the envelope provided before the polling stations close on election day. You can apply to vote by post for a particular election or on a permanent basis. Instructions on how to complete your postal vote will be enclosed within the postal vote pack.
You can appoint a proxy voter to vote on your behalf if you cannot get to the polling station on election day. You must give a reason why you cannot vote in person, for example, if you are on holiday.
You can apply to vote by proxy for a particular election only, or on a permanent basis. Permanent proxy applications may require a signature in support, such as your doctor or employer.
Please note, both you and your proxy need to be registered to be able to vote by proxy.
Contact the Elections Team on 0151 443 2222 for a postal or proxy voting application form.
Electoral Commission Guidance on standing for election
Elections held in Knowsley
Borough elections are held every third year of a 4 year cycle with the next scheduled elections taking place on Thursday 5 May 2022.
To find your local councillor, click here.
Member of Parliament - Parliamentary elections
Parliamentary elections are held every 5 years with the next scheduled elections taking place in 2024.
To find your local MP, click here.
Parish and Town Council elections
Knowsley has five town and parish councils. Elections are held every four years with the next scheduled elections taking place on Thursday 4 May 2023.
Petition for an Elected Mayor
Knowsley currently has a Leader elected by the Council, and a cabinet of Councillors.
However, under the Local Government Act 2000, you can petition the Council to hold a referendum on whether local people should elect a Mayor to lead the Council and be the head of the Council's decision making body.
In order to call a referendum for a directly elected Mayor, a petition must be raised which is signed by 5% of local government electors that are included in the current Register of Electors. The verification figure is published annually in a formal notice:
Having a directly elected Mayor is a constitutional change and a referendum would be held to give voters in Knowsley the opportunity to choose if they would want this new arrangement.
Candidates and political parties are subject to limits on their spending on items and services used during the regulated period of an election.
Election expenses returns relate to these permitted spending limits and are required to provide accountability and transparency about the campaigns of candidates. Spending limits are set by legislation and are subject to change.
All candidates and election agents, where applicable, are required to submit a Declaration and Return of Expenses to the Returning Officer within a statutory timescale – whether or not they were elected. Even if no spending was incurred, a nil return still has to be submitted along with the declaration.
These documents are then made available for inspection, during normal office hours at the Elections Office, for the following statutory periods:
- UK Parliamentary Election: 2 years from receipt (public notice must be given in two or more local newspapers)
- Local Government – Borough elections: 2 years from receipt
- Local Government – Parish elections: 1 year from receipt
A copy of the documents can be provided on receipt of the statutory fee (currently 20 pence (20p) for each side of each page). Please contact the office to make an appointment to inspect or to request a copy.
Parish polls provide an opportunity for local electors to express an opinion on a specific subject.