Europe

How to register to vote as Boris Johnson attempts to secure General Election

Tonight Boris Johnson will attempt to secure an early General Election for the fourth time after MPs previously rejected his plans.

The Prime Minister has stated that a ‘new and revitalised’ parliament is needed to take the UK out of the European Union once and for all.

He is putting forward a short bill which sets aside the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act (FTPA) and therefore enables a general election on December 12.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has since announced that he will back the bill after Boris formally accepted a Brexit extension from the EU, therefore taking ‘no deal off the table’.

However, the Lib Dems and SNP have both expressed their reluctance to accept December 12 as an election date.

They fear the PM will use the extra time to ram through a Brexit deal in the last days of parliament.

This means they’re both backing a poll to be held three days earlier, on December 9.

However, the early election bill could also be pulled altogether if amendments are passed that will give 16 and 17-year-olds or EU citizens with settled status the vote, a Number 10 source said.

It all comes down to which amendments are chosen by deputy speaker Lindsay Hoyle, who chairs the debate at the committee stage of the bill.

So how can you be prepared for if and when a General Election is voted through?

How to register

Registering to vote is a simple process that can be completed in five minutes online via the UK Government website, or by post.

If you’re not sure if you’re already registered to vote, you can contact your local Electoral Registration Office to check and they will be able to send a form to you.

You only need to register to vote once – not for every election.

But if you have recently changed your address, name, or nationality, you must register again otherwise you will not be eligible to vote.

To register you will need your National Insurance number and your passport if you’re a British citizen living abroad and want to vote in England, Scotland or Wales.

What if I can’t get to the polling station?

If it is likely you’re not going to be in the country, or are physically unable to go to a polling station, you can apply to vote by proxy – when someone votes on your behalf.

You must apply for a proxy vote at least six clear working days before the election day.

Anyone can act as your proxy, as long as they’re registered to vote and they’re allowed to vote in the same type of election.

You can be a proxy for two people at the same election, or more if the extra people are close relatives.

To vote by proxy in Northern Ireland, you need to do so with 14 working days in advance.

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