Voter registration guide for students and staff
The City College strongly encourages all students and staff to register to vote in general, council and other elections. Active participation helps make a democracy work so the information below is to help ensure you have your say and make a difference! It’s also easy to arrange as you’ll see.
There’s more to voting than you might think though! Being able to vote is the primary purpose for being on the electoral register, but it can also affect much more of your day to day life – from renting to buying a house and even taking out a mobile phone contract.
That’s because when you apply for a loan, mortgage or any other form of credit, banks and lenders will look at your credit score to judge how high a risk you are when it comes to borrowing cash. They’ll scan your financial history for good behaviour and red flags, but more importantly evidence that you are who you say you are. Being registered on the Electoral Roll is hard proof of this and can impact your application greatly.
The Electoral Roll is used by many companies for identity verification purposes, in order to combat fraud. It’s an important first step towards giving the applicant the best chance of getting the credit you may need – and, of course, being able to vote in elections. You may also find it more difficult to obtain a passport, get insurance or open a bank or savings account if you’re not on the Electoral Roll.
1: Who can register to vote in a general election?
Anyone on the electoral register aged 18 or above on polling day has a vote. You have to be a British citizen, a qualifying Commonwealth citizen or a citizen of the Republic of Ireland. Although a date has not been set for a general election, you can register to vote at any time if you are 17 – or 15 in Scotland. You need to register at least 12 working days before an election.
You can check your qualifying status here:
2: How do I check if I am registered to vote?
You may already be registered. Contact your local electoral registration office to check. Each UK local authority manages an electoral register listing the names and addresses of eligible voters in the area.
You can find your local electoral registration office here:
3: Can I register to vote online?
You can register on the government’s website. You will need your National Insurance number, date of birth and address. The process takes about five minutes. You can register by post by filling in a paper form.
The government’s website can be found here:
You can find a lost National Insurance number here:
You can download registration forms to print, complete and submit here:
4: Can I register to vote without my National Insurance number?
You can still register but you must explain why you cannot provide it and will probably be asked to provide another form of ID
5: How do I register to vote if I’m at university?
Students can vote using their college/ university (if living away from home) or home address. It is legal to be registered in two areas, but a criminal offence to vote in both. If students are already registered at their home address, they could use a postal vote or proxy vote if they are not there on election day.
People who are working away from home or on holiday on election day can also vote by post or proxy, which means nominating someone to cast a vote for you. Your proxy must be aged 18 or over and also registered. If you are suddenly incapacitated or taken ill on polling day, you can apply for an emergency proxy up until 17:00 on the day.
Information about voting in person can be found here:
Information about postal voting can be found here:
Information about voting by proxy can be found here:
Information about applying for an emergency proxy can be found here:
6: What if I am moving house?
When you move you need to re-register to your new address. If you are moving between the registration deadline and polling day you can vote at your old address. If you are unable to return, you can apply to vote by post and have your postal vote sent to your new address. Or you can vote by proxy.
7: Is anyone banned from voting?
In general elections, it’s all of the following:
- members of the House of Lords
- convicted prisoners
- anybody found guilty of electoral fraud within the past five years
- people with any “legal incapacity” which impairs their judgement
8: Can someone else register me?
Not since 2014. Before then, one member of a household could sign up everyone.
9: Can I register to vote if I do not have a fixed address?
If you do not have a permanent address, you can register by filling in a ‘declaration of local connection’ form.
Information about voting if you don’t have a fixed or permanent address can be found here:
10: Can I register to vote anonymously?
If you are concerned about your name and address appearing on the electoral register you need to fill in a form and explain why your safety – or that of someone in your household – would be at risk.
Information about registering to vote anonymously can be found here:
11: Can I get help with registering if I have a learning disability?
The Electoral Commission has produced an ‘easy-read’ version of the registration form in English and Welsh. People with a disability can get help completing an application, but the person who wants to register to vote has to make the declaration.
A step-by-step, easy read guide to registering to vote, for people with a learning disability, can be found here: