Have you registered to vote? Did you know you have to register individually to vote in any UK Election? In 2010, the NUS warned that 22% of students might not have been able to vote, as they weren’t registered. Last year the process was changed by Parliament so that university accommodation is no longer able to register all students to vote in one go – we have to do it ourselves! This puts students at great risk of not being registered for the upcoming May general election. If you do not vote, you risk losing the opportunity to make your voice heard.
You can register either in your university town or hometown, however as students have short degrees we often have more links to the local community at home and so it might make more sense to register at your home address. You can also register to vote by post, which means you don’t have to worry about going home to vote in May during exam time, which is a really great option to take. It really is easy to vote!
Two key considerations:
1) There is also a potential fine of £80 for those who do not register – the deadline is 20th April.
2) When registering, we would encourage opting out of the “open register” which allows your details to be shared with almost anyone by the government.
All you need is your National Insurance number and date of birth. To register now, go to: www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
Tweet us @nhsf_uk when you’re ready to vote – you never forget your first time!