Special Category Electors
Special provision is made to enable certain groups to register to vote even though they may live or work overseas or have no permanent address at which to register. These are known as special category electors.
With the exception of Service Voters which remain valid for five years, all other special category electors require annual renewals to be completed in order to remain registered. These are sent by the Electoral Registration Officer to your last notified address up to three months before your current registration expires. This should allow you time to complete and return your form to us for processing. If we do not hear back from you, we remove your name at the end of that period and write to you to explain why.
If you wish to make an application for registration as one of the following, please click on the relevant link to download the application form.
British citizens living abroad may preserve their right to vote in UK Parliamentary and European Parliamentary Elections for a 15 year period from their last registered entry in the UK. If you have never been registered as an elector in the UK, you will not be eligible to register as an overseas elector. However, if you left the UK before you were 18 years of age you can register at your parents or guardians UK address, providing that you left the country not more than 15 years ago. Registration as an Overseas Elector will only last for twelve months so an application must be made annually.
Overseas Electors may either appoint a person to vote on their behalf at the polling station (a proxy), or choose to vote themselves by post. If a postal vote is chosen, the applicant should take into account the length of time taken for post to travel in either direction to and from an overseas address, as the Representation of the People Regulations 2001 (regulation 71(1)) stipulate that the postal ballot papers cannot be issued earlier than 5.00pm on the eleventh working day before Polling Day.
If you would like to apply to register as an Overseas Elector, please download an Overseas Voter application form, complete it, sign it and return it to the Electoral Services Office.
People serving in the UK's armed forces, and their spouses, are entitled to register either as ordinary electors, or through a separate process called service registration. Service registration is particularly useful if you are likely to be posted to different places or are regularly serving away from home, and therefore run the risk of missing the autumn household registration process.
Regulations were recently amended to allow any service voter registrations to remain valid for a 5 year period, rather than having to be renewed every 3 years. Service voters should therefore ensure that any address changes for postal ballot papers are kept up-to-date within that period, as otherwise their ballot papers may be sent to the wrong address. The main advantage of registering in this way is that you can appoint a proxy without the need for your employer to support your application. Also, the reminder to renew your registration is sent to your service address rather than to the address where you are registered and from which you may be absent for long periods.
If you would like to apply to register as a Service Voter or as the spouse of a Service Voter, please download a Service Voter application form complete it, sign it and return it to the Electoral Services Office.
You can register as a Crown Servant or British Council Employee if you are not a member of the armed forces but you are employed in the service of the Crown or British Council in a post outside the UK. A spouse living abroad with an employee of the Crown or British Council may also register in this way. This type of declaration to be registered must be renewed annually in order to continue to qualify.
This category of elector may either appoint a proxy or choose to vote themselves by post. If a postal vote is chosen, please remember to take into account the length of time it may take for post to travel in either direction to and from an overseas address.
If you would like to apply to register in this way, please download a Crown Servant or British Employee Voter application form, complete it, sign it and return it to the Electoral Services Office.
Declaration of Local Connection
You are entitled to register as an elector by means of a Declaration of Local Connection if you fall within one of the following categories:-
- You are currently resident as a patient in a mental hospital and would not be entitled to be registered by virtue of residence at any other place
- You are currently resident at a place where you are remanded in custody, otherwise than after being convicted of any offence, and would not be entitled to be registered by virtue of residence at any other place
- You are a homeless person not resident at any address in the United Kingdom
If you would like to apply to register in this way, please contact the Electoral Services Team at the Council Offices, Grantham and ask for a "Declaration of Local Connection" application form.
If your personal safety would be at risk from your name appearing on the Voters List, you may be able to register anonymously. Whilst new rules were introduced in 2007 which will allow some people to register in this way, they are exceptionally strict and are set out in law.
To qualify, you will need either:
- A current Court Order or Injunction which is for the protection of or benefit to either you or someone in your household; or
- qualified person needs to support your application. That person must be:
- A police officer of or above the rank of superintendent in any police force in the UK
- Director General of the Security Services or the Serious Organised Crime Agency
- A Director of Adult Social Services or Children's Services in England, a Director of Social Services in Wales, a
- Chief Social Work Officer in Scotland, a Director of Social Services or an Executive Director of Social Work in Northern Ireland
Please note: The qualifying officer does not have to be based in the same area as the applicant, but the attestation cannot be delegated to a more junior person within their organisation.
If you would like to apply to register in this way, please download an Anonymous Registration application form, complete it, sign it and return it to the Electoral Services Office.