The Speaker
Monday, 24 June 2024 – 06:36

Why you should register to vote and how you can

The deadline to register to vote in time for this May’s elections is fast approaching.

In order to vote in elections in the UK on 6 May 2021, you’ll need to register to vote by 11:59pm on 19 April 2021. Here’s a look at how you can register to vote and why you should…


Am I eligible to register to vote?

Registering to vote is a quick and simple process, but you will need to be eligible.

To be eligible to register to vote in the UK, you must be aged 16 or over (or 14 or over if you live in Scotland or Wales). In addition, you must be one of the following in order to be eligible;

  • a British citizen
  • an Irish or EU citizen living in the UK
  • a Commonwealth citizen who has permission to enter or stay in the UK, or who does not need permission
  • a citizen of another country living in Scotland or Wales who has permission to enter or stay in the UK, or who does not need permission

There are slightly different criteria for eligibility to vote – for example, while you can register to vote in England from the age of 16, you can’t actually vote in elections until you are 18 years old. You can check whether you are eligible to vote at


When do I need to register?

You only need to register to vote once and not for every election, but you may need to register again if your personal information changes. 

For example, you may register to vote at age 16, and then register again if your address, name or nationally changes. Some people may be registered in multiple locations, such as students, but should only vote in one location.

If you are not yet registered to vote, you’ll need to register before 11.59pm on 19 April in order to vote in the elections on 6 May 2021.

If you’re not sure if you’re already registered to vote, you can contact your local electoral registration office.


What do I need in order to register?

To register to vote, you’ll need to enter a few personal details, such as your name and address. You’ll be asked for your National Insurance Number when registering – though you can still register if you don’t have one.


Why should I register to vote?

Registering to vote gives you the chance to have a say on important issues that affect you. Politics truly impacts everyone through different topics, from education to transport, so it is important to have your say and make your views heard.

People across the world have lost their lives while fighting for the right to vote, including people in the UK in the early 1900s. The right to vote is still not universal around the world, so taking part in and showing support for democracy is seen by many as particularly important.


How do I register to vote?

The easiest way to register to vote is online. It usually takes about 5 minutes to register online and it is a simple process. 

Alternatively, you can complete a paper form and send it to your local Electoral Registration Office in order to register to vote.


Register to vote now at


This article contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

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