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Voting in the general election: everything you need to know

Image with text saying your vote is your voice register to vote

The UK will be holding a general election on Thursday 4 July 2024, where voters choose a candidate to represent their constituency in the UK Parliament’s House of Commons.

Voting in a general election is an important democratic right and way of having your say on how the country is governed. To help you get ready, we’ve gathered the essential deadlines and links to further information so you can cast your vote.

Who can vote in the UK's general election?

All British, Irish or qualifying Commonwealth citizens resident in the UK and over 18 years old on election day are eligible and must be registered to vote to take part. Not sure if you’re eligible? Check your eligibility on the Electoral Commission website.

You must be registered to vote.

The deadline for registering to vote in the general election was Tuesday 18 June. Not sure if you’re registered to vote? Find out how you check on the Electoral Commission website.

Step-by-step guidance

A five-step guide on how to vote is on the UK Government website 

How you can vote

There are three ways to vote, in person, by post or by proxy (nominating someone to vote on your behalf). If you won’t be able to vote in person on 4 July, you can choose to vote by post or by proxy.

By post

If you can’t vote in person, you can apply to vote by post. The deadline for applying to vote by post was Wednesday 19 June.

By proxy

In some cases, it may be possible to nominate someone to vote on your behalf (a proxy) at your allocated polling station if you can’t vote in person. You and your proxy must both be registered to vote before you can apply. The deadline for applying to vote by proxy was Wednesday 26 June, except for in Northern Ireland, where the deadline was Friday 14 June.

In person: make sure you have the right photo ID

You can vote in person on 4 July at your allocated polling station between 07.00-22.00 and you must provide an accepted form of photo ID to vote. Find out more about voting in person.

Accepted forms of photo ID

You will need to take an accepted form of photo ID with you to the polling station. You can check the Electoral Commission website to see if you already have this but if you don’t, you need to apply for a photo ID in time to vote in person on 4 July.

How you can get free photo ID
Voter Authority Certificate

You can apply for a free voter ID document, known as a Voter Authority Certificate, if you don’t have a valid photo ID. You can apply if you’re not sure your photo ID still looks like you or if you’re worried about using it for any other reason, such as the use of a gender marker. The deadline for applying for a Voter Authority Certificate was Wednesday 26 June.

If you’re graduating on 4 July

Congratulations! If you’re attending your graduation ceremony and are going to be celebrating, you and your guests may want to plan how you’ll vote ahead of time. If you intend to vote in person on 4 July, your allocated polling station will be open between 07.00-22.00. 

NUS Turn Up

KCLSU are taking part in the National Union of Students (NUS) Turn Up campaign, which includes events and activities to encourage student and youth voter registration. Find out more about Turn Up and what else you can do to get ready to turn up and vote.