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A general election has been called for Thursday July 4th.  

Voting gives you the power to decide how the UK is run. This is the opportunity for every citizen aged 18 or over to support a candidate that will represent your views in parliament. 

You vote for an MP to represent your area and the party with the most MPs forms the Government. The MPs you help select will be able to influence issues that you care about. These include matters like the NHS, housing, education and the environment.  

It’s your chance to have your say about who represents your views over the next five years.  

If this is your first time being eligible to vote – congratulations! Having the right to vote is an important part of living in a democracy, so make sure you understand how to carry out that right.  

If you don’t vote, you’ll have had no say over who will be making decisions on the issues important to you. 

Whether or not this is your first vote, using your vote is your opportunity to influence policy makers and politicians so they reflect your values.  

In The Big Ambition, just over one in five children and young people, or adults responding on their behalf, agreed that decision makers listen to their views – so make sure you’re ready to vote on July 4th so that your voice is heard.  

We’ve set out everything you need to know to be prepared on the day. 

“I personally think the Government should listen to the voices of children and young people, involve them in decision-making processes and create policies that address their specific needs and concerns.”  – Ryan, care leaver 

To find out who you can vote for in your area, the Electoral Commission has created a useful tool.

How do I register to vote?  

The deadline to register to vote is 11:59pm on June 18th – everyone needs to be registered whether you want to vote in person or by post. 

If you would rather vote by post instead of in person once registered, the deadline to do this is 5pm on June 19th. You will need your National Insurance number to do this online.  

Paper forms are also available to download at the link if you can’t apply online.  

What do I need to vote?  

July 4th is the first general election in the UK where photo ID will be required, so you will need an accepted form of ID. This includes: 

A full list is on the Electoral Commission site

I don’t have any photo ID – can I still vote? 

You can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate by 5pm on June 26th:

You’ll need a recent digital photo of yourself and your National Insurance number.  

What if my ID is out of date?  

Your ID can be out of date but the photo on it must still look like you.  

If you’ve changed your name so that your photo ID no longer has your current name, you must bring proof of your name change. 

The name on your ID must match what’s on the electoral register.   

What if I’ve moved house?  

If you move before the registration deadline of June 18th you should register to vote again.  

If you move between June 18th and July 4th, you should vote using the address of your old property as any application at your new address is unlikely to be processed in time. 

You can contact your local electoral registration officer for more information on what to do if this applies to you. 

What if I don’t have a permanent address? 

You can still register to vote if you don’t have a fixed or permanent address, either because:  

You need to give an address where you would be living if not for your current situation, an address you’ve lived at in the past or an address of where you spend a substantial part of your time.  

You can find out how to register without a fixed address here

Where do I vote? 

You can search your address via the Electoral Commission to find out what your voting area is. 

Once registered, you’ll get a poll card in the post before the election that will tell you where your polling station is, where you go to place your vote.  

If you don’t receive your poll card, contact your local council. 

Polling stations are chosen to be widely accessible. Large print ballot papers and magnifiers will be available. If you need help to complete your ballot paper you can ask a member of staff or take a friend or relative with you to help. 

What if I can’t get to my polling station to vote in person?  

You can either apply to vote by post before the June 19th deadline, or you can apply for a proxy vote.  

This means nominating another trusted adult to vote on your behalf. You can ask anyone to act as your proxy, as long as they are registered to vote for this kind of election. You will have to tell them which candidate you want them to vote for on your behalf.  

There are only a few specific circumstances under which someone can apply for a proxy vote: 

If you have a disability or additional needs, you can find out more about voting here

Other helpful resources: 

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