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Get Registered to Vote in the General Election. A step-by-step guide

By Daniel Parry
Your vote counts


If you are a student in Newcastle, it is highly important that you register yourself to vote in the elections that will take place on Thursday 4 July.

The next UK general election has been called and will take place on Thursday 4 July 2024.

Voting has several benefits, including seeing active change in our country and city, choosing your priorities and being actively involved in shaping a better future. While it can feel that you, as an individual, are only one voter, realise that your voice, alongside thousands of other people, can always make a change. Every single vote counts in deciding how we deal with current issues in Newcastle

You can vote in the upcoming election in several ways: in person, by post or by proxy. You can vote from abroad if you're a British citizen but not currently in the UK, for example if you are on a placement year. 

You may be able to register both at your home address and your term-time address. This does not mean that you can vote more than once in elections taking place on the same day. You will need to choose one address and vote in that area only in UK Parliament elections. So, please ensure you are registered wherever you will be on 4 July. 

No matter how you plan on voting, it's important that you're registered! The deadline for registering is typically 12 working days before election day, so this is 18 June

Qualifying commonwealth students are entitled to register at Parliamentary elections. 

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Step 1: Check if you meet the criteria 

There are three criteria to meet to ensure that you are eligible to vote in the United Kingdom.

  1. You must be over 18
  2. A UK or Irish Citizen.
  3. A qualifying Commonwealth Citizen living in the UK. You can see the list of commonwealth countries on the Electoral Commission website. 

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Step 2: Register to Vote by the 18 June. 

If you meet these criteria, the next step takes only 5 minutes to complete. This is the actual step of registering to vote and you can access the form on the government website. You can also change the constituency where you are registered if you will not be in Newcastle on 4 July. 

When you register, you will receive a polling card, which will let you know where you can vote near you. If it will be difficult or inaccessible to vote in person, then you can register for a postal vote.


Step 3: Collect all necessary forms of ID for voting 

It is now essential to carry a form of photographic ID (options listed here)  such as a passport or a driving licence when you go to the polling station to vote. If you do not have any of the suggested ID, you can still vote by registering for a voting certificate

If you have lost your photo ID, including a Voter Authority Certificate, you can apply for an emergency proxy vote up to 5pm on polling day.


Step 4: GO VOTE 

When you get to the polling station, give your name and address to a member of staff.

You will then show them your photo ID to confirm your identity.

You will be given a ballot paper containing a list of people, parties or options you can vote for.

Follow the instructions in the polling booth and on the top of the ballot paper.

Fold your ballot, then place it in the box.

You can take your own pen if you prefer, but this isn't essential. 

Remember, you are voting to elect a Member of Parliament in a general election. You're not voting for a new Prime Minister. If you live in the constituency represented by the Prime Minister at the time of the general election, you are still only voting for them as you local MP in the next Parliament. This also applies to the leader of another party - you are only voting for them as your local MP. 

The political party that wins the most seats in the House of Commons at a general election typically forms the new government and its leader becomes the new Prime Minister. They are then appointed by the monarch. This is guided by the UK's constitutional conventions. These conventions, laws and rules are set out in the Cabinet Manual. These affect the conduct and operation of government. It includes the role of the Sovereign.


Register to vote