If you are a UK student, make sure you can vote in any British election – general elections, local elections, referendums and European parliamentary elections. To do this, your name must be on the electoral register, which is updated annually in October. And you can easily get a postal vote (though Northern Ireland has different arrangements).
If you have a different address in term time to your permanent home address, you can lawfully be on the electoral register at both addresses. You will then be eligible to vote in local elections in the two different areas. But you can only vote once in a national election − it is an offence to vote twice in any one election.
You can register, or check your details on the register, at your local electoral registration office. This is generally at your local council office in England and Wales, the Valuation Joint Board in Scotland and EONI in Northern Ireland. You can find downloadable voter registration forms and applications for postal voting at www.aboutmyvote.co.uk, which also has a useful student page.
It is important to be able to vote, even if you don’t actually bother when the time comes – and you don’t know when the general election will be.
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