Elections - Guide to Voting in Derby

New to voting or need a refresher? This page contains all the information you need about voting in Derby.


How can I register to vote?

Every eligible voter in Derby is responsible for making sure they have registered to vote. Following the electoral reforms in 2014 it is no longer the duty of the head of the household. You can do this by:

  • filling in an online form on the Government website,
  • requesting and filling in a paper version and posting it to us
  • over the phone by calling us.

Once you’re added that’s it, you do not need to re-register every year! However, if you move house or change your name, you will need to re-register. We do send each household a form every year to confirm the details of all who are eligible to vote at each property in the City. The form is normally sent around August and helps us to compile an accurate electoral register.

Registration is quick and easy, it takes a few minutes and you will need to have your National Insurance number to hand. You need to make sure you have registered to vote at least 12 working days before an election. 

If you’re aged 16 or 17 you can still register, however you won’t be able to vote until you turn 18.

If you don’t want to exercise your right to vote, it’s still important to register. Being registered has several perks including a better credit score! 

For more information on registering to vote read our FAQ's or visit the About My Vote website.

Details of the location of polling stations can be seen on our mapping portal. 

What if I can’t go to a polling station?

If you can’t attend your local polling station there are several options for you.

Postal Votes

If you’re registered to vote but are unable to attend a polling station to cast your vote then you may be eligible for a postal vote.

You can apply to have a postal vote for just one election, a fixed period, or on a permanent basis. To apply you will need to download and complete an application form and provide a sample of your signature and a date of birth. You must return this application to us at the very latest by 5.00pm, 11 working days before an election.

Once you receive your postal vote (usually 10 working days before an election) you need to complete it and ensure we have received it by 10.00pm on Election Day for it to count. Sometimes postal votes can get lost, so if you haven’t had yours by four working days before the election, contacts us.

Top tips for using a postal vote:

  • Complete your postal vote in private and do not let anyone else see it as you would at a polling station.
  • Do not let anyone else vote for you.
  • Do not give your ballot paper or postal pack to anyone else.
  • Seal all envelopes yourself.
  • Take your postal vote to the post box yourself, if this is not possible give it to someone you know and trust to post it for you.
  • You can also deliver your postal vote to your polling station on Election Day.
  • If anyone tries to help you against your will, or forces you to give them your postal vote, you should contact the police. 

Proxy Votes

If you’re registered to vote but are unable to attend a polling station to cast your vote then you may be eligible for a proxy vote.

A Proxy vote allows you to nominate a person you trust to vote on your behalf. The person you nominate must qualify to vote in the UK and be willing to do so. If you’re in doubt you can contact us to confirm that your nominee qualifies.

You must apply for a proxy vote no later than 5.00pm, six working days before the election, but we advise applying earlier.

If you fall ill after the proxy deadline has passed, or are called away from Derby for work reasons, meaning you can't attend a polling station, you can apply for an emergency proxy vote until 5.00pm on Election Day. Contact Electoral Services as you will  need to complete a form. . In the case of a medical emergency the application will need to be supported and signed by a registered medical practitioner, a registered nurse or a Christian Science practitioner, in the case of a work emergency application the application will need to be supported by your employer.

What is a polling station?

On Election Day, most voters will visit one of our 86 polling stations. Polling stations in Derby are usually based in community locations such as community centres, schools and other public buildings. When you receive your poll card it will tell you which polling station to attend on the day. You do not need to bring it with you. All polling stations are open from 7am – 10pm.

Alternatively, you can find your local polling station on our map.

Polling stations are run by Presiding officers and Poll clerks; they ensure that everything runs smoothly and legally. When you arrive, you will need to give the Poll clerk your name and address to check that you are on the Electoral Register so a ballot paper can be issued. 

How do I vote?

Once you’ve be given a ballot paper you can make your way to a polling booth to make sure you can vote in secret.

In most elections you should only mark your ballot paper with a single cross (X) in the box next to your choice. Follow the instructions displayed in the voting compartment. If you write or draw on your ballot paper it may not count and be classed as a ‘spoilt ballot paper’. When you have voted, fold your ballot paper in half and put it in the marked ballot box. For more information, you can read the step-by-step guide on the About My Vote website.

New Electoral Register 2018

The new Electoral Register for the period 1 December 2017 to 30 November 2018 is available from 1 December 2017. Throughout this time, electors can be added, deleted or have their details changed. The Electoral Register is a public document, see the section below ‘How can I search the electoral register to find someone?’ for details about inspection arrangements.

How do I get proof that I am on the electoral register?

You can view:

  • the full register at our office. Contact us for information and to book an appointment.
  • the open register at our office and at certain libraries. Contact us for more information.

If you need to supply proof that you are registered to vote at a particular address, you can purchase a 'Certificate of Residency'.

Our fee for a Certificate of Residency is:

  • £25 – we can produce and send out the Certificate on the same day.

If you prefer, you can collect a Certificate from The Council House. Please contact us before your visit to confirm we can do this and when to collect it.

You can pay online or by cash.

How can I search the electoral register to find someone?

The electoral register is a public document. 

You cannot do a search by name only as the register is compiled by address. The register is not available to search online.

The open register can be used by anyone for any purpose: there are no restrictions on its use. 

Back copies of the open register can normally be viewed at the Local Studies Library. The Local Studies Library Service is based at Riverside Chambers in Full Street Derby. For more details visit our Local studies collection page

The full register can only be inspected by appointment and under supervision at the Electoral Services Office.  It is an offence to make copies of the full register, other than by handwritten notes.

There are a number of people finder web sites that might be useful to people searching for lost relatives and so on; contact us for details.

Contact details

Post address:
Electoral Services
Derby City Council
The Council House
Corporation Street
Phone: 01332 640837
Minicom: 01332 640666
Electoral Services
Derby City Council
The Council House
Corporation Street