If you wish to access an easy to read guide to Voting in Scotland please visit this Website. This pamphlet is produced by the Electoral Commission.
The main duties of the Electoral Registration Officer include the creation and maintenance of the Register of Electors and similar tasks in regard to the Postal and Proxy Vote lists . He is not, however, responsible for the conduct of elections, his statutory involvement being to provide Registers and Absent Voting Lists for each Polling Station, as well as to candidates at the Election and to the Returning officer. It is the duty of the Returning Officer to organise and conduct elections.
The Register of Electors (or Voters Roll) is principally based on an annual canvass of all properties where electors may reside. The Register also indicates the entitlement to vote at various types of elections.
Following the Representation of the People Act 2000, it is now possible to register to vote at your current address even if you move house during the course of the year. Individual electors may make application for Registration during the year. An application to register form is available to complete and return to the Electoral Registration Officer. The form should be completed for the address at which they are normally resident on the "relevant date". The relevant date is the date the applicant signs the form.
It is important that Electors make their applications when moving house, for example, as early as possible after the event. The statutory timescale may not permit the application in time for the Elector to be added to the Register in time for pending elections.
There are two versions of the Electoral Register - the Full Register and the Edited Register. Find out more.
Can British citizens living abroad vote?
British citizens living abroad can vote in UK parliamentary and European parliamentary elections but cannot vote in local elections.
British citizens living abroad for more than 15 years are not eligible to register to vote in UK elections.
How do I register to vote if I'm living abroad?
You need to download an overseas electors registration form and return it to our office at 235 Dumbarton Road, Clydebank, G81 4XJ.
In general terms, if you apply to be registered before the middle of a month, your name could be added to the Register on the 1st of the following month. However, there is no monthly update after 1st September or during October and November, which is the annual canvass period, when all households have to Register.
The annual Electoral Canvass is the principal way by which the Electoral Registration Officer ingathers the bulk of the content of the Register.
The Canvass commences in August each year. All properties will receive the registration form so that the householder can complete and return it to the Electoral Registration Officer. Door-to-door inquiries may be made to supplement the issue of the canvass form. During the canvass there is a legal requirement to give the Electoral Registration Officer, when he asks, full details of all persons entitled to be registered. There is no subsequent legal requirement to vote if you do not wish to do so.
Persons registered in households from which the registration form has not been returned run the risk of having their names removed from the Register. Removal from the register would mean the loss of the ability to vote, unless of course, the person is registered elsewhere.
The Electoral Register is revised each year at 1st December, and the Electoral Registration Officer may also revise it at other times of the year e.g. if there are substantial changes because of major new developments etc.
Find out more about Postal and Proxy Voting Information.