Make sure you are registered to vote
In 2015 the way we all register to vote changed to a system called Individual Electoral Registration (IER). This system means that everyone is responsible for registering to vote individually.
Under the old system the 'head of every household' could register everyone who lived at their address and the University used to bulk register students with the local authority, Charnwood Borough Council. Although the IER has been introduced the University and the Council have continued to work closely together and a new system was introduced to facilitate students being able to register to vote locally.
Please also read carefully this information as it will help you ensure you can exercise your democratic right to vote should you wish to do so.
Are you registered to vote?
Use this flow diagram to find out whether you are registered to vote and what to do if you are not.
Arrangements for voting as a student
As a student you can register to vote at home and your term-time address. In key national elections such as the General Election you will only be actually able to vote once, either at home or in Loughborough. Voting twice in these kind of elections is a criminal offence. In local elections you will be able to register to vote both at home and in Loughborough (unless both addresses are within Charnwood) and cast your vote in both.
Who can vote?
This depends on the type of election.
A person can vote in local government elections if they are:
- a British citizen living in the UK
- a qualifying Commonwealth citizen or European Union citizen
- a citizen of the Irish Republic living in the UK
- registered to vote as a Crown Servant
- registered to vote as a service voter
A person cannot vote in local government elections if they are:
- A British citizen living abroad and are registered as an overseas elector
A person can vote in UK parliamentary general election if they are:
- 18 years of age or over on polling day
- a British citizen, a qualifying Commonwealth citizen or a citizen of the Republic of Ireland
- not subject to any legal incapacity to vote
At a general election, the following cannot vote:
- anyone under 18 years old
- members of the House of Lords, who can vote at elections to local authorities, devolved legislatures and the European Parliament
- EU citizens resident in the UK
- citizens of any country apart from the UK, Irish Republic, and Commonwealth countries
- convicted persons detained in pursuance of their sentences (though remand, unconvicted and civil prisoners can vote)
- anyone found guilty within the previous five years of corrupt or illegal practices in connection with an election
A polling card is sent to everyone who is on the electoral register about four weeks before an election.
For students living in halls this is likely to be sent to your hall address.
For students living off campus this will be the address that you listed when you registered with the University in September/October.
The polling card shows your Electoral Number and which polling station you should cast your vote at. You cannot vote at any polling station, only the one on your polling card.
If you do not receive a polling card then please consider a couple of factors:
- Have you moved recently? Your polling card will be sent to the address at the time you registered to vote until you register the change via www.gov.uk/register-to.vote. You can still vote as you will still be on the Electoral Register, but you will only be able to vote at the polling station on your polling card. Please call Charnwood Borough Council on 01509 634546 to find out your polling station.
- If your polling card is missing or has been lost, don’t worry, call Charnwood Borough Council on 01509 634546 to find out where you need to go and vote.
The General Election will take place on Thursday 8 June. If you are not going to be in Loughborough on 8 June and want to vote then the Council advises registering to vote at your home address. Simply visit: www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.
Alternatively, you can request a postal vote from Charnwood Borough Council (see below). Please be aware, you can register to vote with two local authorities, but you can only vote once in the general election. Voting twice is a criminal offence.
If you want a postal vote, you need to be registered to vote first.
The last date for a postal vote in the Eu Referendum on June 23 is June 8, 2016.
To request an application form call 01509 632593 / 632594 / 632595 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any further questions visit www.charnwood.gov.uk/electoral_services or call Charnwood Borough Council on 01509 634546.