All you need to know about registering to vote

The UK appears to be on course for a December general election.

Here is all you need to know about registering to vote.

– Who needs to register?

If you have never voted, have moved constituency or have turned 18 recently then you will need to register if you have not done so already.

– When can I register?

Assuming you are eligible, you can register any time but, be aware, there is a deadline.

If a snap general election was to take place on December 12, the deadline for applying to register to vote is likely to be November 25.

If polling day is December 9, the deadline would be November 20, and if the election is set for December 11, the deadline would be November 22.

You can even get yourself on the register if you are 16 or 17 but you will need to have turned 18 before the election date to actually be eligible to vote.

Counting ballots
Assuming you are eligible, you can register any time to vote (PA)

– How do I check if I am already registered?

If you are not sure whether or not you are registered, you should check with your local electoral registration office. You can find the local authority to get in contact with here:

– How can I register if I need to?

By visiting and filling out the relevant forms. Alternatively, you can register by post. Download the forms here:

– What if I live abroad?

You can register as an overseas voter for up to 15 years after you left the country, if you are a British citizen and you have been registered to vote in the UK within the last 15 years (or if you were too young to register when you left).

If you are serving in the armed forces abroad there is a special form you can fill out here: Likewise, if you are a Crown servant and British Council employee working abroad:

Students can often register to vote at both their term-time and home addresses.

This means that in local elections, some students can vote in two areas. But in a general election, they must choose which area to vote in and only vote once.

Learn more:

— Electoral Commission (@ElectoralCommUK) October 28, 2019

– What about students?

If you are a student, you may be able to register to vote at both your home and term-time addresses – but you can only vote once in any election.

– What if I am away on election day?

If you cannot vote in person you can ask someone to vote on your behalf, via a proxy vote. That person must be aged over 18 and be registered to vote. You can apply for a proxy vote here:

In certain circumstances, where you have an emergency that means you cannot get to the polling station in person, you can apply for an emergency proxy up to 5pm on the day of the election.

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