Standing as a Candidate
Elections are held for District and Parish/Town Councillors every four years where all seats will be re-elected at the same time. The next scheduled all-out District & Parish elections in Dover are due to take place in May 2023.
Police and Crime Commissioner Election
The Police Area Returning Officer (PARO) is the person with the overall responsibility for the conduct of these elections. The PARO for these elections is Sarah Martin at Dartford Borough Council. Nominations will be dealt with by the PARO’s team at Dartford.
For more information on standing as a candidate at the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Election please visit the PARO's website.
For information on the PCC candidates for Kent go to: www.choosemypcc.org.uk/area/kent
Kent County Council Elections
The County Returning Officer (CRO) is the person with the overall responsibility for the conduct of these elections. The CRO for these elections is Benjamin Watts at Kent County Council. Nominations will be processed by the Deputy Returning Officers at the relevant District/Borough/City Councils throughout Kent. The nomination process is the same as for the District Candidates set out below.
For more information on standing as a candidate at the Kent County Council Elections please visit the CRO's website.
District and Parish Council By-Elections
The Returning Officer (RO) is the person with the overall responsibility for the conduct of these elections. The RO for Dover District Council and all of the towns/parishes within its boundaries is Nadeem Aziz at Dover District Council. Nominations will be processed by the RO’s team at Dover.
For more information on standing at either the Dover District Council or Dover Town Council By-Elections (or both) please read the information below.
Useful Information for Candidates:
Prospective Candidates Information Pack
County Electorate and list of Polling Stations as at 15 March 2021
If any prospective candidates or election agents have any queries relating to the forthcoming local elections that are not answered in the documents above, the Elections Team at Dover District Council will be holding a question and answer session online via Microsoft Teams on Wednesday 17 March at 6.30pm. If you would like to attend or would like to submit a question in advance of the session, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Candidates can be nominated through a political party; however individuals can stand in their own right.
- To become a candidate you must be at least 18 years of age and
- You must have an entry on the electoral register, or
- Have lived, worked or owned property in the area for 12 months
- Or in the case of a Parish/Town Council have lived within 4.8 km of the Parish/Town for the previous 12 months
County Council candidates may be disqualified if they work for the County Council or hold a politically restricted post with another local authority. District Council candidates may be disqualified if they work for the District Council or hold a politically restricted post with another local authority. Candidates for all election types may be disqualified if they are declared bankrupt or have a previous criminal conviction with a three-month or more prison sentence.
The Nomination Process
No experience is needed to stand for election as a Councillor.
To stand as a candidate, a form known as a nomination paper must be submitted. The nomination paper gives details of the candidate's name, address (in full) and political description (if any) that will be used during the campaign.
County Council and District Council nomination papers have to be signed by a Proposer and Seconder and another 8 people who support the nomination to stand as a candidate (for elections held before 30 April 2022, District and County Council nominations only need to be supported by 2 subscribers instead of the usual 10). Town and Parish nomination papers have to be signed by a Proposer and Seconder who support the nomination to stand as a candidate.
Everyone signing the nomination paper must be included on the Register of Electors for the Ward in which the election is to be held. If someone signs your nomination paper and they are not included on the relevant Register of Electors, the paper will be declared invalid.
A person wishing to stand as a candidate will be issued with the following:
- Nomination paper
- Consent to nomination
- Home Address Form
- Appointment of election agent
A candidate who is standing on behalf of a registered political party will also need to submit:
- Certificate of authorisation
- Request to use the party emblem
Please contact the Elections team on email@example.com or by telephone on 01304 872344 if you require a nomination pack containing the documents listed above to be sent to you for the forthcoming elections.
At the close of nominations, the candidate will be notified as to whether or not the nomination is valid. If a candidate wishes to withdraw their nomination, they have until no later than noon on the 16th working day prior to the date of the election to withdraw.
The law now limits the description candidates can use. For a County or District Council election, unless a person is standing on behalf of a political party, they may only use the word "Independent" or have no description at all. Candidates cannot submit a nomination paper using a political party description unless they have the political party's permission to do so and a certificate from the party authorising the use of their particular description must be obtained.
Some candidates appoint an agent to assist them and they can be appointed to take responsibility for the management of your campaign. This does not apply to Town/Parish Elections. Candidates can arrange the appointment of other agents at the polling stations and at the count.
Does it cost any money to stand as a candidate?
There is no charge to stand as a candidate in County, District or Parish elections but there are strict rules on the amount and manner in which expenses are incurred by the candidate and how they are paid. The amount depends on the type of election and there is a limit on how much a candidate can actually spend. Because of these strict rules, a detailed return has to be submitted, showing exactly how much and in what circumstances a candidate has incurred expenditure. Expenses are non-refundable.
Appointment of election agent
At County and at District elections another person can act as an election agent for a candidate. They must complete an appointment of election agent form and that appointed agent must sign a declaration of acceptance. If no such application is received the candidate will be deemed to be acting as their own agent.
The election agent is entitled to attend polling stations, the opening of postal ballot papers, the verification and the count.
The election agent is responsible for all acts involved in carrying out the election on behalf of the candidate and has a duty to ensure the campaign is conducted according to the law. In particular the election agent is responsible for the financial management of the election campaign and for ensuring that the declarations and returns of expenses incurred by and on behalf of the candidate are delivered to the appropriate officer.
More detailed information about standing as a candidate can be found on the Electoral Commission Website.
Tel: 01304 872344