The Deadline To Register To Vote In Person In The General Election Is Fast Approaching

There is a deadline to register to vote before the next general election.
There is a deadline to register to vote before the next general election. Westend61 via Getty Images

Prime minister Rishi Sunak called a general election at the end of May, meaning the whole country will be heading to the polls on July 4.

If you want to vote in person, then you need to make sure you are registered by the end of the day – here’s how.

How to register to vote

if you are already 18, or will be 18 on election day, you will be eligible to vote, but you need to register first.

Go to before midnight, June 18.

The online process will take around five minutes and requires your national insurance number.

You can also register to vote by downloading this form from the website or asking for one from your local electoral registration office.

During this process, you can choose to register anonymously so your name is not on the open register.

The process will also ask for your address, but if you do not have a fixed or permanent address, you have a few options.

You can provide an address where you used to live, where you would be living if not for your current situation, or where you spend most of your time.

If you registered previously, you will still be on the system but you may need to update details like your name, address or nationality.

You can contact your local electoral registration office to find out if you’re registered.

How to cast your vote at a polling station

For the first time ever at a UK general election you need to show your photo ID to vote at a polling station.

You can find a list of all the accepted forms of ID here.

You can apply for a free ID called the Voter Authority Certificate here but you must do so before 5pm, Wednesday, June 26.

How to apply for a voter authority certificate

If you do not have any appropriate photo ID, your name has changed on your current ID or you no longer look like the photo, you need to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate.

To apply, you need to fill in this government form with a recent photo of yourself and your National Insurance number.

What to do if you’re unable to vote on election day

Postal votes

If you know you will not be able to reach your local polling station on election day – perhaps you’re on holiday or have other commitments – you can apply for a postal vote or a proxy vote.

But, you need to apply for this application by 5pm on Wednesday, June 19.

You need to already be on the electoral register, provide your postcode, birth date and national insurance number along with a sample of your signature.

The method for applying is different in Scotland, where you have to apply via a paper form here.

Then, once your postal vote arrives through the post, you should try and send it off as soon as you can.

If you’re worried your vote will not be counted in time, you can take it to your local polling station on polling day.

Proxy votes

You can ask someone you trust to vote for you on election day, by applying online by 5pm, Wednesday, June 26.

For Scottish elections you have to download a form and return it to your local electoral registration office.

What to do if you miss any of these deadlines

You can apply for an emergency proxy vote by contacting your local electoral registration office – you have until 5pm on polling day, July 4.