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9 Million People Missing From The Electoral Register

ballot boxNew figures from the Electoral Commission show 17% of eligible voters in Great Britain are not registered at their current address, representing as many as 9.4 million people – leaving millions at risk of being unable to vote in a snap General Election.

More than one in ten (11%) register entries also have ‘major errors’, affecting up to 5.6 million people – with another 9% having ‘minor errors’. That means one in five entries are wrong in some way.

Who is most likely to be missing from the electoral register?

  • Younger people
  • People in rented accommodation
  • People of Black, Asian and Mixed ethnic backgrounds
  • Young People not yet of age but who may be eligible to vote by birth date in a future General Election
  • Lower income households

In the UK people have to opt in to their right to vote.  You cannot check online if you are already registered, however:

  • To find out if you are registered in Orkney you can call 01856 876222 to get through to a member of the Electoral Registration Team in Orkney.

  • To find out if you are registered in Shetland you can call 01595 745700 to get through to a member of the Electoral Registration Team in Shetland.

Registering to Vote

  • You can register to vote any time online at: www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
  • You will need your National Insurance Number and Date of Birth to complete an application.
  • If you have lost your National Insurance Number you can phone the National Insurance helpline on: 0300 200 3500. They will not provide your details over the phone but they will post them to you.
  • It only takes a couple of minutes to complete an online application.
  • If you live in Orkney, you can call 01856 876222 to get through to a member of the Electoral Registration Team in the Orkney Electoral Registration Office to help you with this process.
  • If you live in Shetland, you can call 01595 745700 to get through to a member of the Electoral Registration Team in the Shetland Electoral Registration Office to help you with this process.

Am I eligible to vote?

  • You must register for the address at which you currently reside – this is your permanent place of residence. Not a temporary place of residence such as a second home or holiday home.

  • You can vote in UK Parliamentary Elections and European Elections if you are 18+ (17 year olds can register but not vote until 18).

  • You can vote in Scottish Parliamentary Elections and Scottish Local Government Elections if you are 16+ (15 year olds can register but not vote until 16).

  • Nationalities eligible to vote in all elections and referendums subject to any other statutory restriction: British citizens, Commonwealth citizens who have leave to remain in the UK or who do not require such leave and citizens of the Republic of Ireland.

  • Nationalities entitled to vote at Scottish Parliamentary and Local Goverment Elections only: citizens of other European Union countries.

  • More information available at: https://www.yourvotematters.co.uk/can-i-vote/who-can-register-to-vote

Remember you can vote in person at a polling station or you can apply for a proxy vote so that someone can vote on your behalf. You can also apply for a postal vote if you think that for any reason you may not be able to get to a polling station yourself. The postal vote comes with instructions. You cast your vote in your own home and send it in.

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