Action stations, people! The UK goes to the polls for a general election on December 12.
But if you want to be able to cast your vote, you need to register – and the deadline to do so is November 26.
If you’re raring to get to the polling station, here’s everything you need to know about registering to vote in the upcoming general election.
Who Can Register To Vote?
British, Irish and some Commonwealth citizens can register to vote in a general election.
In England and Wales, you can only vote when you turn 18. However, you can register from the age of 17, meaning you can still vote if a general election falls on your 18th birthday.
In Scotland, you can register to vote from the age of 15 and vote in local elections and elections to the Scottish Parliament when you’re 16. However, you must still wait until you’re 18 to vote in a general election.
How Do I Register To Vote?
There are two main ways to register. You can do so at GOV.UK through an online form, which usually takes around five minutes to fill out.
You will need to your National Insurance number to complete the form, and your passport if you’re a British citizen living abroad.
You can also register by post – visit GOV.UK to download the printable forms.
To vote in the winter general election, you need to register by 11.59pm on Tuesday November 26. For postal votes, the deadline is 5pm.
Am I Already Registered To Vote?
If you are unsure whether you are registered to vote, you will need to contact your electoral registration officer.
To find their details, enter your postcode on the Your Vote Matters website, which will give you the contact details of your local electoral registration office.
Local officers will then be able to tell you whether you are registered to vote.
Who Can Vote?
To vote in a general election, you must have registered to vote and must be 18 or over on polling day.
You must also be a British, Irish or Commonwealth citizen and be a resident at a UK address, or a British citizen living abroad who has been registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years.
British citizens living abroad can register to vote by post. However, British in Europe – a citizens’ rights group for Brits living in Europe – has recommended that those living abroad should apply for a proxy vote instead.
This allows citizens to ask someone to vote on their behalf.
The group’s website reads: “Postal systems vary greatly and there’s no foolproof way of checking that your vote has arrived on time, been opened and counted.”
Brits living in Europe have also reported being recommended by their local authorities in the UK to vote by proxy, warning that there may not be enough time for overseas postal ballots to be returned.