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Register to vote

Your vote matters! This page will give you information about how to register, who can register and why you should register.

Why should you vote?

Not only is it a legal requirement to be registered to vote if you are eligible, but the voices of students are incredibly powerful - what better way to make yourself heard?

Registered voters are not required to actually cast a vote - this will always remain your own personal choice. But remember that whether you live on campus or in the local area, you are part of the local community and are affected by the same issues as everyone else, including;

  • Education
  • Transport
  • Housing
  • Crime
  • Health
  • Jobs
  • Sport and Leisure Facilities

Exercising your right to vote ensures that your voice is heard with regard to how the government addresses these issues.

Did you know...?

Being registered to vote not only gives you the right to participate in elections, but can also improve your credit rating!

Many organisations use the Register of Electors to ensure fraud or money laundering does not occur. This means that you may find yourself turned down by letting agents if you are not on the electoral register.

Additionally, banks and other large companies can see gaps in your registration history, which can impact your credit rating and your ability to get a loan or credit agreement in the future.

Ok I get it! How do I register?

The registration process is simple - you can complete it in a few minutes online. If you need a paper application, you can download one online or contact the Electoral Services Team at your Local Council. You can check eligibility on the Government voting web pages.

If you live on campus or in the local area, your local council is Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council. Find their contact details at welhat.gov.uk/registertovote

Important note:

If you are already registered to vote at your current address, you do not need to register again.

If you have moved, please register using your full address, including room or flat number or your registration will not be processed.

Am I eligible to vote?

To vote in a general election you must be registered to vote and; The following cannot vote in the UK election
  • be 18 years or older on polling day
  • be a British, Irish or qualifying Commonwealth Citizen
  • be a resident at an address in the UK (or a UK citizen living abroad who has been registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years)
  • not be legally excluded from voting
  • members of the House of Lords
  • EU Citizens (other than UK, Republic of Ireland, Cyprus and Malta) residing in the UK
  • anyone other than British, Irish and qualifying Commonwealth citizens
  • convicted persons detained in pursuance of their sentences, excluding contempt of court (though remand prisoners, unconvicted prisoners and civil prisoners can vote if they are on the electoral register)
  • anyone found guilty within the previous five years of corrupt or illegal practices in connection with an election

FAQs about voting

 

I'm a student living in the Welwyn Hatfield Borough, should I register to vote here or at home?

Students are entitled to register at both their home address and their University address, providing that they are in two different electoral areas for two different local councils.

It is an offence to vote more than once in a Parliamentary election or national refurendum - such an offence can result in fines up to £5,000.

For more information on students' right to vote, visit yourvotematters.co.uk/can-i-vote/students

What if I only want to vote in the elections at my home address?

You can return home to vote in person, or you can apply to the local council at your home address to vote by post or appoint a proxy to vote for you.

If you'd like to vote by post or via proxy, you can download the relevant form, complete it at return it by the required date by visiting yourvotematters.co.uk

Postal vote

If you arrange a postal vote, your local council will send you the ballot paper via Royal Mail around 2 weeks before the election date. As long as you complete and return your ballot back by the date stated, your vote will count.

Voting by Proxy

You can arrange for a relative or friend to vote for you at your normal polling station at home. Your local council has to agree to this, and the chosen proxy will recieve a special polling card.

What you will need

You’ll need to show photo ID when voting in person in some UK elections or referendums.

You’ll need it to vote in:

  • UK parliamentary elections, including general elections and by-elections
  • Recall of MP petitions in England, Scotland and Wales
  • Local elections in England (including councils, mayors, the Greater London Authority and parishes)
  • Police and Crime Commissioner elections in England and Wales
  • Neighbourhood planning referendums in England
  • Local authority referendums in England (including Council Tax increase referendums)

Further information can be found on the government 'How to Vote' webpages

 

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