How Can I Register to Vote?
You can register to vote online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. You may need the following, if you have them:
- your National Insurance number
- your passport if you’re a British citizen living abroad, and want to vote in England, Scotland or Wales
There’s a different process to register anonymously, for example if you’re concerned about your safety.
You can also register by post. There’s a different form for registering by post in Northern Ireland. If you need help registering, contact your Electoral Registration Office. There is an easy read guide about registering to vote for people with a learning disability.
who can vote?
You can register to vote if you are:
- 16 or over in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (but you cannot vote until you are 18); or 14 or over in Scotland (but you cannot vote in local elections and elections to the Scottish Parliament until you are 16 or elections to the UK and European Parliaments until you are 18)
- A UK, Republic of Ireland or qualifying Commonwealth citizen. Qualifying Commonwealth citizens are those who have leave to enter or remain in the UK, or do not require such leave
- A citizen of a European Union country living in the UK
- A citizen of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or a British Overseas Territory living in the UK
Here is a full list of Commonwealth and European Union countries
If you are a citizen of one of those countries, and a resident in the UK, you are eligible to register to vote in UK elections. Find out what you can vote for here
Information from www.yourvotematters.co.uk/faq
Where should I register to vote?
Students are able to register to vote at both their home and term-time addresses. If your home and uni address are in two different local authority areas, you can vote in local elections at both. However, in general elections, you'll only be able to vote in one.
If you're not sure if you're already registered to vote, you can check by getting in touch with your local authority. Enter your postcode to find your local electoral registration office, and contact them directly.
If it turns out you're not on the electoral roll, register to vote in England, Scotland, and Wales.
How do i find my national insurance number?
You have a National Insurance number to make sure your National Insurance contributions and tax are recorded against your name only. It’s made up of letters and numbers and never changes. You'll find it on:
- a payslip
- your P60 form
- on any letters about your tax, pension or benefits
- in the National Insurance section of your personal tax account
If you don't have access to any of these, it is likely a parent or guardian will be looking after it for you. You can apply for a National Insurance number if you do not have one or find your National Insurance number if you’ve lost it.
guidance for colleges
While JCRs and MCRs have to remain politically neutral in elections, we would absolutely encourage them to get involved by pushing voter registration among students. Students are one of the least likely groups to be registered to vote, and all students must register individually. This is especially important here and now, as Cambridge is a marginal seat with a high student population and the window for registration is likely to be very short in any 2019 general election.
It’s not only home students who can vote in general elections – you can also vote if you’re a citizen of Ireland or a qualifying Commonwealth nation. Students can register to vote both at home and at University, although they can only vote in one place in a general election.
Below are four things you can do to encourage voter registration among your students:
Post in your Freshers’ Group or JCR/MCR Group encouraging students to register to vote
This is a very simple and easy way to encourage students to register to vote. Some sample text is provided below which you can use and edit as you see fit.
“As a student, you’re able to register to vote at your home address and your University term-time address. In the event of a general election, you’ll be able to decide whether you wish to vote at your home address or your University address. Registering to vote takes just five minutes and can be done online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote "
Get your College to send out a voter registration email to students
Some Colleges will already send out an annual email reminding students to register to vote but it’s worth asking them to do so anyway. Given the possibility of an October/November general election with an early voter registration deadline, it would be good for Colleges to email students as soon as possible to encourage them to register to vote.
Remind your Freshers to find out their National Insurance number before they come to Cambridge
Students registering to vote will need their National Insurance number in order to do so. Reminding students to make a note of their National Insurance number before they come to University will make it much easier for them to register to vote once they arrive in Cambridge. Most people who have had a job in the UK can find their NI number on their payslips, and advice on finding a lost NI number is available here.