11/04/2016

How to Vote

UK nationals who have been on the electoral register in the UK within the last 15 years can register as overseas electors and can vote in the EU referendum.  You can apply to register to vote in five minutes at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.  You will need the following:

  • your National Insurance number
  • your date of birth
  • your passport

Your application will be passed to the local Electoral Registration Office at the local authority in the area where you last lived and were registered on the Electoral Register in the UK (search for the Electoral Registration Office contact information here).

When is the deadline to register to vote?

The voter registration deadline is May 22 2017.  This applies to Brits living overseas and to British residents living in the UK. The actual vote takes place on 8 June 2017. The Electoral Commission is advising overseas voters to register as soon as possible. Applying for a proxy vote would be the best way to ensure your vote is counted, particularly for those expats living beyond northern Europe.

What do I do if I don’t have a National Insurance number?

If you don’t have a National Insurance number, or if you cannot be identified using your National Insurance number, you can still register, but you may have to supply more information to show who you are – including having an overseas UK citizen verify your identity. If you are struggling with this please click here, and fill out the form.

I registered for the 2015 General Election and 2016 Referendum so am I still registered?

Once registered to vote, overseas voters have to sign an annual declaration to renew their registration each year.  So if you were registered to vote for the 2015 General Election you will have to renew your registration or you are unlikely to be able to vote this year – you can do this by filling in the same online form as for people registering for the first time, or by contacting your local Electoral Registration Office to request that your registration be renewed.

What if I can’t/don’t want to register online?

If you can’t or don’t want to register online, you can still download and post back paper forms.  But remember to return your completed form as far in advance of the deadline as possible. You can download a PDF to allow you to vote by post from the Electoral Commission here, and form for the proxy vote here. Please note these forms work only for England, Wales and Scotland (not Northern Ireland), and need to be sent to the local Electoral Registration Office where you were last registered in the UK – find out where that is using this tool at gov.uk.

How do I find out if my registration worked?

You can find out the status of your registration by contacting your local Electoral Registration Officer (search for the office contact information here) at your last UK local authority. It is recommended that you do this anyway to be sure that you are properly registered to vote.

How do I exercise my vote?

You can choose how you wish to vote.  You can vote by postal ballot or by proxy (by choosing someone you trust to vote on your behalf).  And if you happen to be in the UK on the date of the General Election, you can always vote in person at the polling station in the constituency where you were last registered.  Note that, particularly if you choose to vote by postal ballot, the Electoral Commission recommends that you register as soon as possible to ensure that the postal ballot has time to arrive at your address by post and you have sufficient time to send it back in time to vote in the election.

What next?

Take me to the form to register to vote! | Give me more information about postal votes | Give me more information about proxy votes

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