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Registering to vote

The Ward Lists, the lists of voters for City Ward elections, are updated annually. The period for registering voters runs from September to December each year. Unlike national elections, in addition to residents, businesses and other organisations based in the City can register voters.

More about...

When are voters registered?

A canvass to register worker voters in the City takes place between August and December every year. 

Businesses and other organisations that are entitled to nominate voters are sent registration forms at the end of August each year. The forms are sent to a named individual who is responsible for nominating the voters for their organisation.

Applications to be registered can be made up until the end of November. On 30 November Provisional Ward Lists are published that show who will be included on the revised Ward Lists the following year. These are available for inspection at the Electoral Services office.

The revised Ward Lists are then published and used for elections taking place between 16 February following and 15 February the year after.

Please note: no updates to the register can be made during the year.

Types of businesses and organisations that can appoint voters

​Sole traders

Also known as sole proprietorship or simply a proprietorship. A business that is owned and run by one individual. Only the sole trader can be registered as a voter in the City and they must be over 16 years of age, and a British, Irish, Commonwealth or European Union citizen.

Partnership

This relates to people who are equity partners of firms (without limited liability), for example legal chambers. Firms with limited liability are considered Qualifying Bodies. Partners appointed as voters in the City must be over 16 years of age, and a British, Irish, Commonwealth or European Union citizen.

Qualifying body

Any incorporated or unincorporated body physically occupying premises in the City of London. This includes general retail units, bars and restaurants, banks, insurance companies, stock brokers, other financial institutions, limited liability partnerships, charities, trade associations, livery companies, churches and other religious bodies and hospital trusts.

The number of voters that the qualifying body can appoint will depend on the size of the workforce. Organisations with a workforce of nine or less can appoint one voter; those with up to 50 can appoint one voter for every five; those with more than 50 can appoint 10 voters and one additional voter for every 50 and one additional voter for every 50 members of the workforce over the initial 50. In each case the remainders are ignored.

Organisations

Size of workforce
Entitlement
1-9
1
10
2
25
5
50
10
100
11
200
13
500
19
1000
29
2000
49
3500
79

Who can be appointed as a voter?

To be eligible as voters on behalf of an incorporated or unincorporated body, persons must on the qualifying date of 1 September be at least 16 years old (they can only vote at 18) and a citizen of the UK, Republic of Ireland or other Commonwealth or European Union country.

They must also be a member of staff since 1 September last year and whose main place of work is a City premises of the organisation or a member of the Board of Directors or equivalent since 1 September last year or have worked exclusively for the organisation for a total of 5 years or more, at some time during their working career, and either still work in the City or have done so within the last 5 years or have worked mainly in the City for 10 years or more, regardless of the organisation, at some time during their working career and still do so or have done within the last 5 years.

People are eligible to vote in the City's elections even if they are also registered to vote at their home address as long as they do not live in the City.​

It is important that people nominated to vote reflect the make-up of the organisation as a whole – from chief executive to entry-level employees and even regular contractors – so that the City Corporation represents the full range of the City's workforce. Voters nominated should reflect the whole diversity of an organisations' employees, including gender ethnicity and seniority.

Tips for appointing voters

​Here are some ways your firm can select people to be their appointed voters:

  • Send an email to all your staff to find out who is interested in registering to vote. Contact us if you would like to us to help drafting the email, we have some suggested text which can be adapted for your needs. So your staff can find out more about voting in the City, you could provide a links to our website or attach one of our leaflets which are available on request as a pdf or printed format.
  • Use internal communications such as the company intranet or newsletter, letting people know who they should contact if they would like to become a voter. We would be happy to assist with wording of any communications.
  • Put up a poster on staff notice boards – just add in the details of the person who will be coordinating the appointment of voters. Copies of posters are available on request.
  • If you work in a large company you could appoint a certain number of people from each floor or each department. Don’t forget to check with them that they are happy to be appointed.
  • Appoint members of existing representative bodies such as employee forums.

Additional voters

  • Additional voters list
    Additional voters form
    ​Click or tap on the image to download the additional voters form.

If you wish to add additional names to your registration forms but you do not have enough space on the form you have, please print and use this Additional Names Form (30KB).

I want my business to be able to nominate voters

​If you want to make sure your business is able to nominate voters during the next registration canvass please email electoralservices@cityoflondon.gov.uk and they will be able to find out the current status of your business and ensure that you are included when the Ward Lists are next updated.

I am interested but I don’t know who nominates the voters for my business

If you want to know who is responsible for nominating the voters at your business, please email electoralservices@cityoflondon.gov.uk and they will find out for you.

Frequently asked questions

​What is a qualifying body?

This is any incorporated or unincorporated body apart from a partnership. This includes retail units, bars and restaurants, limited companies, limited liability partnerships, charities, trade associations, livery companies, churches and other religious bodies, banks and hospital trusts. If you are a sole trader or partnership you still get to vote but will need a different form.

How do people get appointed as voters?

If they qualify to stand under the selection criteria, they should contact the relevant contact in their organisation of their interest. Appointments are made internally by the qualifying bodies.

If organisations occupy more than one office in the City, does each office have the right to appoint a voter?

Yes, even if those offices are in the same ward, as long as individuals work in those offices concerned and the offices are not physically linked. The number of votes is determined by the size of the workforce in each building, not as an aggregate.

What is the process for appointing worker voters?

It is the choice of each individual organisation of how to appoint their voters. Some organisations may already have existing arrangements can be deployed satisfactorily for this purpose. The process of appointment should be open and clear and the appointed voters should be reflective of the workforce.

What do voters have to do?

Voters will be informed in writing when and where any elections will take place. They can vote in person at a polling station within their ward or, equally, the City of London welcomes postal votes (proxy voting is also an option).

How do people object if their inclusion on the ward list is not accurate?

Forms on which to make claims or objections will be available from the Electoral Services Office when draft voting lists are published in November.

Can I vote in the City as well as at my home address?

Yes - provided you do not live in the City.

If I live in the City can I vote twice?

No - you can only vote once in the City.

Can one person have all the nominated votes?

No - the system is one vote per person.

Can staff at all levels vote?

Yes – as long as they meet the criteria. Appointments should be reflective of the composition of the workforce.

Who am I voting for?

Aldermen and Common Councilmen (Members) in the City of London ward elections. They make up the City of London’s Court of Common Council – its main decision making body. The City of London provides local government services for the 'Square Mile'.

The next City wide elections to elect our 100 Common Councilmen will take place in March 2017. Aldermen are elected for a six year term but unlike Common Councilmen, they are not all elected at the same time. Although City wide elections are some years away, it is important to register now so that you are able to vote in Aldermanic and by-elections as they occur.

More information on the City of London voting system can be found on the Ward elections pages.

Are voters free to exercise their vote as they wish?

Yes - the vote is a secret ballot just like all other elections.

Can I be on the Ward List and the Register of Electors?

Yes, these are two separate documents. The Ward List is used for the City's elections of Aldermen and Common Councilmen and the Register of Electors is used for Parliamentary, European Parliamentary and Greater London Authority elections.

Can I be nominated more than once by my company?

No, you can only be registered once and can only have one vote.

Who can register to vote?

To register to vote you must be aged 16 on 1 September of the relevant qualification year (you must be 18 to vote), have worked for the company for more than 12 months and be a citizen of one of the countries listed below:


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