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Got5? - Register online to vote

Monday 14-10-2019 - 12:18

Many believe a general election is likely to be held in the UK at some point between October and the end of this year. To vote in a general election, you will need to have registered onto electoral register before hand. Below we have put together a handy toolkit to help you do this, however the process is fairly simple, so if you have not registered yet and fancy giving it a go now, just follow this link to get started >> www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Remember, if you don't register, you can't vote, and you will lose your chance to have your say on who is elected into government.


To register to vote in a general election in the UK, you must be:

  •  A British citizen living in the UK, or
  • A Commonwealth citizen living in the UK who has leave to remain in the UK or who does not require leave to remain in the UK, or
  • A British citizen living overseas who has been registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years, or
  • An Irish citizen living overseas who was born in Northern Ireland and who has been registered to vote in Northern Ireland in the last 15 years



You can register to vote online via the UK government's website >> https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. It takes on average around 5 mins to complete, if you have the all the information that is needed (see below what you will need). 

When registering, you will need to provide your address, to be assigned to the electoral register in your area. 



When registering to vote, you will need to provide the following information:

  • name
  • address
  • date of birth
  • national insurance number (can be found national insurance card, payslips, or letters about tax) / or passport number if the person is living abroad


Once this information has been submitted and you have completed your registration, you should receive a confirmation email, followed up by a letter stating you have been entered on to the electoral register. This means you can vote in the election!!


There will be a deadline to register, and the government will set this once an election is called. The deadline is usually around three weeks before the date of a pending election. If you apply after this deadline, you will still be entered onto the electoral register but will not be able to participate in the forthcoming election/referendum. 

In the past, the gov.uk website has been known to crash in the last couple of hours before the registration deadline. Therefore we advise that you register to vote well in advance of the deadline to avoid this happening. 


When a person registers to vote they will be placed on the electoral register (sometimes referred to as the electoral roll). This contains information that is not publicly available but is made available to certain organisations for the purposes of fighting crime, calling people for jury duty and checking credit applications.  

People registering to vote should be given the option of opting out of being on the open register. This is similar to the electoral register but is made more widely available – for example, businesses and charities use the open register to check details such as names and address.


If this is your first-time voting, below are some step by step instructions:

  1. Students registered to vote will be sent a polling card a few days before the election. This tells you when and where to vote – this will include the address of the local polling station. Unless you have a postal or proxy vote, they will be required to go to a polling station to vote in person. This is likely to be a public building such as a church, community centre or school that is used for elections.
  2. In the UK elections take place on a Thursday. Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm on the day of the election. Students can only vote in person during these times. 
  3. When you get to the polling station, you will need to give your name and address to one of the volunteers. You do not need to take your polling card or any other identification with you, although this can be helpful.
  4. The volunteers will give you the voter a ballot paper containing the names and political parties of those standing for election. A voter takes this into the voting booth and then marks a cross in a box next to the name of the candidate they are voting for. A person should make it clear who they are voting for; otherwise, the vote may not be counted.
  5. The paper should then be placed (after folding) into a ballot box. These are black and have thin slits in the top for the papers to be pushed through. 
  6. This completes the voting process for the voter. They may then leave the polling station without needing to do anything further. The votes will then be counted after the polls have closed and the result will be announced overnight or the following morning.


If you have any question about voting, please come a see us or visit the gov.uk website for the most up to date advice and information.


Sources of information and citation

Section 1.


Section 2 and section 3 – Where to register and what information is needed to register. 


Time limits and registering to vote 



Consequences of registering to vote 



General information


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