New 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.
Postal vote, more details available at: https://www.gov.uk/voting-in-the-uk/postal-voting
Proxy vote, more details available at: https://www.gov.uk/voting-in-the-uk/voting-by-proxy