As we all dusted off the joys of partying/binge watching Netflix over the bank holiday weekend, Prime Minister Theresa May dragged us back to reality. On Tuesday, Theresa announced a snap general election for 8 June of this year to ensure Brexit is a “success”.
Cast your mind back to this time last year where the Brexit wheel was churning and we had manifestos thrown at us left, right and centre. Of the students eligible to vote in the EU Referendum, few turned up to the polling stations to cast their votes – don’t be left disappointed this time around.
As 700,000 Brits have turned 18 since the last election, students and young people alike, this is your chance to find out all you need to know about voting and letting your voice be heard.
Before you’re eligible to vote you have to register. With only seven weeks left to secure your vote its time to act now. Registering is simple, fill out the five-minute form here on the gov.uk website to be added to the electoral register – all you need is your passport and National Insurance Number.
You are eligible to vote if you are one of the following:
- A British citizen living in the UK
- A British citizen living abroad who has been registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years
- A Commonwealth citizen living in the UK who has leave to remain in the UK or does not require leave to remain in the UK
- An Irish citizen living overseas born in Northern Ireland who has been registered to vote in Northern Ireland in the last 15 years
Voting in your current location
As a student, it’s fair to say you might have flown the nest and be living away from home. If you have moved address you will need to re-register, but you will still be able to vote at your home if you have registered there previously. Although you can be registered at your home and term addresses, it is important you only vote once or you could face a fine of up to £5,000.
How do I vote?
There are many options out there when it comes to actually casting your vote. The most common is going in person to the polling station – the location will be available on your polling card that will be sent to your house a few weeks before the election.
Not keen on missing that stellar festival line up or your summer holiday to vote? Never fear, you can still cast your vote and party in the mud/lie on your lounger. In England, Wales and Scotland you can vote by post if you register for postal voting. Simply download this form and return it complete to your local registration office. Your postal vote will be sent out to you by your local council and will have all the information on filling out the form and sending it back complete – postal ballots are done in advance of the election to ensure all votes are returned on time.
Proxy voting is your third voting option. If you have a disability, you’re on holiday, or you’re on a course for university you can entrust your vote to someone on your behalf. To register yourself for a proxy vote, at least six days before the election, visit the Government website here.
This is your chance to make sure the party with the policies and objectives right for your education and iving standards are elected into power. Don’t miss out; ensure the voice of young people is heard by registering to vote here.