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Brighton Journal | 30th May 2020

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How to register to vote in the 12th December general election

How to register to vote in the 12th December general election
Angus Walker
  • On 1st November 2019

Earlier this week, MPs voted to approve a bill calling for a general election on December 12th.  Across Brighton and Hove, three seats will be contested as the city is divided up into three constituencies: Brighton Pavilion, Brighton Kemptown and Hove. If you’re unsure, you can find out which constituency you are in here

In order to be able to vote in this election, you’ll need to be on the electoral register. You only have to register once, but will need to re-register if you have changed your address, name or nationality since you first registered. The deadline to register or update your details is Tuesday 26th November. The good news is it only takes five minutes to register, but in case you’re feeling a little bit confused about what you need to do, we’ve put together this handy guide telling you everything you need to know.

Who can vote in a general election?

To vote in a UK general election you must:

  • Be 18 or over on the day of the election.
  • Be a British, Irish or qualifying Commonwealth citizen.
  • Be resident at an address in the UK (or a British citizen living abroad who has been registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years).
  • Not be legally excluded from voting.

What do I need to do if I am registering to vote for the first time?

If you’re registering to vote for the first time, you’ll need to visit the Government website’s Register to Vote page and fill in a quick and easy online application form.  All you’ll need is your full name, date of birth, address and national insurance number. The council will then be in touch regarding your vote within ten working days.

What if I’ve moved house or changed my name since I registered to vote?

If you’ve moved house or changed your name since you registered to vote, you’ll need to update your details via the same online application form. If you’ve moved house, as well as the details mentioned above you’ll be asked for your previous address and your new address.  If you’ve changed your name, you’ll also be asked for your old name and your new name.

Where do I register to vote if I’m a student at university?

If you are a student you can register to vote at both your home and term-time addresses. Obviously, you’ll only be able to vote in one place. You made decide where it is better for you to vote based on tactical reasons. For example, if your home constituency is a safe seat where the same party always wins, but your university constituency is a marginal seat, you made decide to vote at university because your vote might have more sway.

What do I do if I can’t vote in person on the 12th December?

If you can’t be there to vote in person on December 12th, you have two options:

  • Apply for a proxy vote – This is when you apply for someone you know who is registered to vote in the UK to vote on your behalf.  You’ll have to fill in different forms depending on the reason you want the proxy vote, but they shouldn’t take too long. Usually, you need to apply for a proxy vote at least six working days before election day, but we’d recommend doing it much earlier than this in case of any delays. The deadline for applying for a vote by proxy for this election would be December 4th.
  • Apply for a postal vote – You don’t need a reason to apply for a postal vote. All you need to do is fill in this form and send it to our local Electoral Registration Office.

If you need help with any aspect of the registration process, you can get it touch with Brighton and Hove’s Electoral Registration Office here. Alternatively, the council website has lots of useful information.

Featured image: Election via WIkipedia.

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