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Frequently Asked Questions:
completing the Household Enquiry Form (HEF)

See also:

What is a household enquiry form?

The household enquiry form collects the details of everyone who lives at your address so that we know who is eligible to register to vote.

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Why do I have to fill it in?

The information provided on the form will allow us to send a separate individual registration form to all the people in your household who are eligible and who are not already registered to vote. It also allows you to notify us of any changes to your details or if people are no longer living at a property so we can remove them.

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How can I return the form?

The easiest and quickest way to return the form is by completing it online on the 'Household response' website using the relevant link below:

You can use the links above to let us know if everything is correct or to make any changes.

Alternatively, if there are no changes, you can return the form by using the freephone number or text service (texts charged at standard network rate) using the pre-printed codes on the form.

If you prefer to return the form by post then you can make any necessary changes and return it in the freepost envelope provided.

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How do I update the form if there are any changes?

Log on to 'online household response' website using the relevant link below using the codes provided on the form and your postcode and follow the steps:

If you need any help you can call the Electoral Services Office for assistance (see contact details - right).

If you prefer to return the form by post you need to do the following:

  • check the details pre-printed on the form are correct
  • add the name and nationality of any residents whose name is not already on the form (they must be aged 16 or over and eligible to register to vote)
  • if there are no eligible residents, you should state why this is the case
  • if anyone listed on the HEF is not living at your address, their name/s should be clearly crossed through
  • Sign the form and return it in the envelope provided

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If I have completed the form online, do I still need to return the paper form?

No, you don't need to return the paper form if you have completed the form online.

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Who is eligible to register?

You can register to vote if you are:

  • 16 years old or over (you can only vote when you are 18)
  • a British, Irish, qualifying Commonwealth* or European Union citizen** who is resident in the UK

Note:

* to qualify, Commonwealth citizens must be resident in the UK and either have leave to enter or remain in the UK or not require such leave

** Citizens of the European Union (who are not Commonwealth citizens or citizens of the Republic of Ireland) are not able to vote in UK Parliamentary general elections and cannot vote in all referendums. They can vote in European elections by completing a separate application

See:

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I've completed the household enquiry form. What happens next?

If you haven't made any changes to the form then you've done everything you need to do for this year.

If you have added people to the form then we will get in touch with them to invite them to register individually. The easiest way for them to do this is to register to vote online. Otherwise we will send a paper form in the post.

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My details are already on the form so does this mean I am registered to vote?

It does mean you are currently registered to vote. However, we still need you to return the form to us to confirm the details. Otherwise we will send reminder forms to you and you may receive a visit from a member of our staff. You are required to return the household enquiry form by law.

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Why do you want my email and phone number?

We will use this to contact you if we have any queries about your registration. This is really helpful to us as otherwise we have to send you letters in the post which can make the registration process longer. We will only use your email and phone number to contact you about voter registration or election matters. We won't give it to anyone else, or use it for any other purpose.

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Can you provide the form in another format?

We can provide some information in alternative formats such as large print; contact the Electoral Services Office for assistance (see contact details - right). If you want to register to vote, you can register to vote online, which works with assistive technologies.

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I've recently registered to vote. Do I still need to return the household enquiry form?

Yes. We send out household enquiry forms every year and they have to be returned by law. We need the information from these forms so that we know who is eligible to register and can encourage them to do so.

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What is the open register?

The open register is an extract of the electoral register which includes the names and addresses of anyone who has not opted out. It is not used for elections and can be bought by any person, company or organisation.
If you do not want your information to be sold then you need to opt out of the open register by ticking the box on your application form.

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Does my information get sold to other people/organisations?

If you do not want your information to be sold then you need to opt out of the open register by ticking the box on your application form.

We keep two versions of the register - the electoral register and the open register. 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, calling people for jury service and 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.

Your name and address will be included in the open register unless you ask for them to be removed. Removing your details from the open register does not affect your right to vote or your credit rating.

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What is a postal vote? Can I have one?

A postal vote means that, at election time, your ballot papers are sent to you by post and you also return them by post. Voting by post is an easy and convenient way of voting if you are unable to get to the polling station.

If you wish to vote by post then you can request an application form when you register to vote, or you can download an application form here:

You must complete the application form before you can have a postal vote. We need your signature and date of birth so that we can check these when you return your postal vote at election time.

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Why should I register to vote? What's in it for me?

Being registered to vote means that you can have your say at election time by voting for the people you feel best represent you. You can vote for:

By being registered to vote you are able to have an active say in national and local politics and make your views known through the ballot box. Remember - if you're not registered you can't vote.

Being registered to vote will also improve your credit rating making it easier to apply for mortgages and mobile phones.

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Where can I find more information about registering to vote and elections?

You can find more information at the following websites:

Alternatively, if you prefer to speak to someone, you can contact the Electoral Services Office for assistance (see contact details - right).

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