Information about registering to vote in elections.
All you need to know about how to register to vote in local and national elections.
Am I already registered?
You are not automatically registered to vote or added to the electoral register, so if you have not registered before, or if you have recently moved address, you will need to register.
If you have previously voted and have since moved into new accommodation, you will need to you re-register at your new property. Likewise, if you have recently turned 18, you will need to register.
If you do not know if you are registered, you can contact your local registration office to find out. Enter your postcode on the Electoral Commission website to find the contact details.
Am I eligible to vote?
If you're British, or a Commonwealth or Republic of Ireland citizen you are entitled to register to vote in all elections in Britain, including the General Election. Citizens of European Union states are entitled to register to vote in local and European elections (although not a General Election).
Be resident at an address in the UK (or a British citizen living abroad who has been registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years).
Not be legally excluded from voting.
Can I vote by post?
There are two ways to vote if you can’t be there to vote in person on the day of an election – with either a postal vote or a proxy vote. To apply for a postal or proxy vote you must already be registered to vote and on the electoral roll.
Voting by proxy
A proxy vote means someone can vote on your behalf. Anyone can act as your proxy provided they’re registered to vote and allowed to vote in the same type of election.
Usually, you need to apply for a proxy vote at least six working days before election day if you want to vote in England, Scotland or Wales. There are different forms to fill in depending on the reason you want the proxy vote, which can be:
You’ll be away.
You’ll be at work.
You’ll be attending a course.
You’re living overseas.
Voting by post
Anyone registered to vote in an election can apply for a postal vote. You don’t need to give a reason. If you live in England, Scotland or Wales you need to fill in this form and then send it to your local Electoral Registration Office.
Can I vote if I'm not British?
Citizens from the Republic of Ireland and qualifying Commonwealth countries are entitled to register and vote in all elections in Britain, including the General Election. Citizens of European Union states living in the UK are entitled to register and vote in local and European elections, but not UK General Elections.
Do I have to vote?
Voting is not compulsory so you can choose whether to vote or not.
There is currently no planned General Election in the UK this year.
If you are registered and wish to vote in an election, your local authority will contact you with instructions on where you polling station is located.
Once you register to vote, your details are checked, and if you are eligible, you are added to the electoral register and can participate in elections.
What address should I register with?
Students can vote using their university or home address.
You are entitled to be registered at home and your University address. It is legal to be registered in two areas (constituencies), but a criminal offence to vote in both areas in a general election. At local council elections you can vote in both areas if you wish.