General Elections 2024: Things You Need to Know

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A General Election was called for Thursday 4 July 2024 where people in every part of the UK can vote for their MP (Member of Parliament) who will represent their local area in the House of Commons for up to five years.

So, how can you get involved and prepare for the vote? Keep reading to find out!

To vote in the upcoming General Election you need to be either a UK or Irish citizen, or an EU or a qualifying Commonwealth citizen living in the UK. You also need to be 18 years old or over but to be able to cast a vote you must also be registered to vote.

To ensure you choose the best method of voting for you on the big day, it’s important to have a voting day plan. By this we mean considering:

Where You'll Be Voting
(at home or in Birmingham)

If You'll Be Voting

By deciding now, you can put plans in place to ensure you’re registered to vote in the place that best suits you and/or via the method that works best with your personal circumstances.

Let's break it down into a few steps to help you have your say on the big day:

Check that you’re eligible to vote:

To be eligible to vote and therefore able to register to vote you must be:

  • A UK or Irish citizen
  • A qualifying Commonwealth Citizen living in the UK
  • An EU citizen living in the UK
  • Aged 16 or over (but you can’t vote until you’re 18 years old)

Visit the Electoral Commission website to learn more about eligibility.

Next up, make sure you’re registered:

As a student, you can be registered to vote at your home and term time addresses, but you can only vote in one of these locations. So, make sure you know which voting location you are going to on the day.

There are different deadlines for registration, but regardless of how you intend to vote you’ll need to register to vote online by 11:59pm on 18 June.


Voting In-person

Once you’ve registered to vote, you will receive your ballot card at your registered address. Take time to explore the candidates and consider their party manifestos. Your polling card confirms that you’ll be able to vote at your local polling station on 4 July. But please note, you will need to bring a form of photo ID, such as your passport or provisional / full driver’s license to be allowed to cast your vote. There are a variety of ID cards that are accepted but student ID cards and bus passes are not included.

Need a form of photo ID?
NUS has teamed up with Citizen Card, meaning students can get a voter ID card for free up until 20 June 2024. After this date you can still get a Citizen Card but there will be a charge to ensure that the card arrives with you in time for the election. So, if you think you might need ID we’d suggest that you learn more about the Citizen Card as soon as possible.

Alternatively, you can apply for voter Authority certificate. These are also free and the deadline for VAC applications is 26 June.

Not Voting In-person

If you can’t vote in-person or if you’re likely to experience changes to your address owing to moving house, which would make voting in-person challenging, we’d strongly recommend either:

Applying for a proxy vote:
Where you nominate someone to vote on your behalf. You would have to register for a proxy vote by 19 June at 5pm.

Applying for a postal vote:
Where you can vote via post by registering for a postal vote before 26 June at 5pm.

Just remember, your voting forms will arrive at your registered voting address. So, you need to consider what your address will be before / on polling day and whether you’ll be there to receive them. If you won’t be there, you may like to consider opting for the proxy vote.

Please note, your forms will need to be with the elections team at your local council by 10pm on polling day to be counted. So, ensure you familiarise yourself with completing your postal vote and return it in good time.

We’ll have more information to help you consider your voting options closer to the day so get registering and watch this space for more updates on all things General Election 2024!



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