Student Advice Service – Money Matters

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Your vote matters – how to register to vote in the general election

A general election has been called and this takes place on Thursday 4th July 2024.

There are some important dates and actions that you need to take in order to take part and have your say.

For many students this will be the first time you’ll be voting in a general elections and despite the media flooding us with politically driven campaign messages, this blog sets out the where, when, how.

Your To Do list

  • Find out if you are eligible to vote in the general election – different rules apply for England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and it is not the same for local elections, so please check the Electoral Commission’s guidance on who is eligible to vote. This is factual, unbiased information and explains the rules.
  • If you are eligible, you now need to register to vote. You can register quickly and safely online via the designated register to vote website. You must register by 18th June 2024.

If you have already registered previously, you can check your details are correct, including your address as this is where you will need to vote in person on the 4th July.

If you have not voted before you will need to register at one address in the UK. You can only vote once so if you want to vote in person it is important to think about where you are going to be on 4th July.

If you’re not sure where you are going to be on 4th July, you can choose to register at your home or valid term time address* – you can always ask for a postal vote nearer the time.

*if you currently live in Halls or private rented accommodation and your tenancy ends before 4th July, it is advisable to not use this address to register unless you know you will be in the local area.

  • Ensure you have valid photo ID. This needs to be acceptable photo identification which you must take to the polling station with you on 4th July. You can check which ID is acceptable on the Electoral Commission website. It doesn’t matter if the ID is out of date as long as the photo still looks like you.
  • If you don’t have anything from the list, you can request a Voter Authority Certificate – this will be a special document with your picture on it, but you will need to apply for this by Wednesday 26th June and you do need to be registered to vote before you request this certificate. The easiest and quickest way to apply for this is online. You need a National Insurance number and a digital photo which fulfils the permitted requirements.

You don’t need photo ID if you plan to send a postal vote.

  • Look at all the information for the candidates in your area – many will already have a visible social media presence and you may have already had contact with a candidate or local activist, but in order to find out who they are, you can check via Final candidate lists will be published by 7th June 2024.
  • Find out where your polling station is. You should receive a polling card in the post which will tell you or you can find online by checking with your local authority. To find out who this is, you will need to know your full post code. Polling stations do change from one year to the next, so even if you have voted before, do still check.
  • If it all feels overwhelming, just check out Dogs At Polling Stations 

If you have got any questions about registering to vote, please talk to BSU or you can always ask the Student Advice Service for more information by phone 01273 642888 or email

Student Advice

general electionregister to vote

Helen Abrahams • May 31, 2024

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