The June election is nearly upon us, but don’t forget to circle Monday 22 May on your calendar too
Thursday 8 June marks the day of the general election, but Monday 22 May is the cut-off for when you can register to do so – if you haven’t registered by then, you’ll be excluded and won’t get a chance to have your say on the day.
As more stories emerge proving just how much of an impact the youth vote has, follow these super simple steps to get your voice heard this election.
Firstly, check that you’re eligible to vote
You can only vote if you’ve registered beforehand and are 18 or over on the day of the election. You can register to vote if you’re 16 (or 14 in Scotland), but you won’t be able to vote in this year’s election – there’s nothing wrong with being super prepared for the next one though!
You qualify to vote if you fit the following criteria:
- You’re 18 or over on polling day
- You’re a British, Irish or qualifying Commonwealth citizen
- You’re a resident at an address in the UK (or a UK citizen living abroad who has been registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years)
- You’re not legally excluded from voting.
If that checks out, you can then follow these steps to register
It’s probably best to check if you have any doubts that you may not be registered, so locate and contact your local registration office to find out. If you’ve moved to a new house since the last election, you’ll also need to re-register at your new address.
Make sure you have your National Insurance number and passport to hand when registering, plus the details of your old addresses if you’ve moved quite a bit in the last five years.
If you don’t have a permanent address, you can still register at a place where you spend a significant amount of time – maybe your parent’s address – but you’ll need to download a ‘Declaration of local connection’ from the GOV.UK website to complete.
Ways that you can vote
Once you’re on the electoral register, you’ll then have to decide how you want to vote. The different options are:
- In person at your local polling station
- By post
- By proxy – getting someone else to vote on your behalf.
You’ll receive a polling card nearer to the day, which will show where your local polling station is if you want to vote in person.
If you’d like to vote via post (because you’re out of town on the day of the election, for example) you’ll need to download your postal voting registration form, fill it in and return it to your local authority by Tuesday 23 May 2017.
Once your postal polling card arrives, mark your vote on the ballot paper and make sure you send it back so that it arrives by 10pm on Thursday 8 June. If it arrives later than this, your vote won't be counted.
Alternatively, you can apply to vote by proxy. You must provide a reason for this choice, which can include:
- You’re unable to go to the polling station for this particular election (for example, if you’re on holiday)
- You have a physical condition limiting you from getting to the polling station
- Your employment or attendance on an educational course means you’re away on election day
- You’re a British citizen living overseas
- You’re a member of the Armed Forces.
The person voting on your behalf can only do so if they’re 18 or over and are registered to vote in this election. You can download your voting by proxy form here, but you must return it by Wednesday 31 May.
Once you’ve got those few things sorted, you’re all set for the election. Now all that’s left to do is decide who you want to vote for…
Come and get involved in all the latest discussions in our general election forum.
Got a question for a party leader? You can submit your questions below to your chosen representative.