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How to Register to Vote in the 2019 UK General Election

How to Register to Vote in the 2019 UK General Election main image

On the 12th December 2019, there will be a general election in the UK, and the deadline to register to vote is fast approaching. Registering to vote only takes a few minutes and your vote will help determine the future of the UK.

When is the deadline to register to vote?

For every general election you have to register at least 12 days before the vote. This means the very last possible moment to register to vote is 11:59pm on Tuesday 26th November (but it’s probably not a good idea to leave it right until the last minute!)

If you’re registering for a postal vote, this has to be done by 5pm on 26th November if you live in England, Scotland or Wales. If you live in Northern Ireland, you must register for a postal vote by 5pm on 21st November.

Who can register to vote?

You can register if you are aged 17 or over, or 15 or over in Scotland, although you will not be able to vote in this general election if you’re under 18.

To register to vote you need to be a UK citizen, or an Irish, EU, or Commonwealth citizen with a UK address. You will also need to be a resident at a UK address, or a UK citizen living abroad who has registered in the last 15 years.

How do I register to vote in person?

You will only need to register once to get on the electoral register, so if you’ve already registered for another election or referendum, sit back and relax, you’re all sorted! If you haven’t previously registered (or you’ve moved from your last registered address) registering couldn’t be simpler.

You will need your national insurance number to hand. You will be able to find this on any paychecks, or on any letters about your tax, pension or benefits. If you’re unsure about what your national insurance number is, click here to find out what to do next

Click this link to register to vote.

Can I register at my university address and my home address?

Yes, as a student you can register at two separate addresses so that you can choose where you vote, depending on what is most convenient for you. However, as you might expect, it’s illegal to vote more than once.

What about if I’m studying on a year abroad?

If you’re a UK citizen who is 18 or older, but are currently living abroad, then you are entitled to a vote. As you are not in the country, you can register to vote by post or get someone else to vote on your behalf (vote by proxy).

How do I register by proxy or postal vote?

To register for a proxy vote (to get someone else to vote on your behalf) you will have to fill in a paper form and send it to your local Electoral Registration Office. To vote by proxy in the General Election in England, Scotland and Wales, you will need to apply by 5pm on 4th December, by filling in this form. To vote in Northern Ireland, you will need to fill in a different form by 21st November.

To apply for a postal vote, you will need to fill in this form by 5pm on 26th November and the postal vote must arrive at your Electoral Office in the UK by 10pm on 12th December if you live in England, Scotland or Wales.  To apply to vote by post in Northern Ireland, fill in this form by 5pm on 21st November.

Can someone else register me?

No, you will have to register for your own vote.

What is the open register, and should I be on it?

The open register is a version of the electoral register that is available to anyone who wishes to purchase a copy. It is up to you whether or not you decide to be on the open register – you can choose to opt out of this if you do not want your information used.  

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Written by Chloe Lane
A Content Writer for TopUniversities.com, Chloe has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Reading and grew up in Leicestershire, UK. 

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