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A General Election is coming!

A General Election is coming!

As you may have seen in the news recently, a General Election has been called and will take place on 4 July. So what does that mean for students, and what do you need to know to vote?

30th May 2024


TL;DR

The upcoming General Election will impact national and local policy for the near future and beyond, so it is important that the younger generation has a say! So…

  • If you’re not a British citizen,

  • Make a plan for or if you can’t attend a polling station

  •  

  • !

 

Key dates:

18 June - deadline to

19 June (5pm) - deadline to apply for  

20 June - last chance to apply for a

26 June (5pm) - deadline to apply for

26 June - deadline to apply for (if you do not have a valid form of photo ID)

4 July - ELECTION DAY! Polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm

Due to the Election being held on 4 July, you may be in between accommodations, back at your home address, travelling, or still in York. There are a whole range of things that might make it difficult for you to vote, so here are some things to know.

 

Registering to vote

. You typically need your national insurance number in order to register to vote, however there are alternatives if you don’t have it to hand. is a national campaign that can support you in registering to vote if you are having any difficulties. They can support you via text, phone or email.

You can be registered at multiple addresses, so you can register at both your term-time address and your home address. But you must only vote at one location for a General Election. Voting more than once at a general election is a criminal offence.

The deadline to register to vote is 18 June.

Not a UK citizen? Did you know citizens of certain countries are eligible to vote in General Elections!? Check your eligibility at !

 

Voter ID

It is now compulsory that you take a form of photo identification with you when you go to a polling station. The Electoral Commission has issued full , including (but not limited to) driving licences and passports. However, University/Student IDs are not accepted as ID for voting. 

If you do not have a form of valid ID, you can apply for a . You should note that free IDs can take up to 21 days to process and the final date to apply for a free card is 20 June. Please note that this is not a valid form of ID in Northern Ireland.

You can also apply for a free if you do not have an accepted photo ID, no longer look like the photo on your ID or if your name on your photo ID is different to your name on the electoral register. The deadline to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate is 26 June.

 

How to vote

Polling stations

The vast majority of people will vote in person at a polling station on General Election Day. Polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm. As long as you are in the queue by 10pm, you will be allowed to vote.

If you are a first-time voter and not sure what the process is like, with helpful FAQs. 

You should receive a polling card letting you know where your polling station is. Polling stations are held in all sorts of places, such as pubs, village halls, churches or schools. If you are unsure where your polling station is, you can head to and enter your postcode to find out where your polling station is.

Postal vote

If you would like to vote for an address you won’t be at, e.g. vote at your term-time address even if you’ve moved home for the summer or vice versa, or you will be on holiday or otherwise unable to attend an in-person polling station, . You must be registered to vote before you can apply and the deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm on 19 June. The request for a postal vote will be sent to the address you are registered at, so if you are staying elsewhere, you may need to request a redirection or reapply for a postal vote.

Proxy vote

If you know in advance that you won’t be able to get to your polling station, you can ask someone that you trust to vote on your behalf. This is called a proxy vote, and the person voting on your behalf is referred to as your proxy. In order to do this, you must provide a reason for why you can’t attend your polling stations, such as being on holiday, away on work, or a disability. , and you will need your national insurance number, the address where your proxy is registered to vote, and contact details for your proxy. The deadline to apply for a proxy vote is 5pm on 26 June.

Emergency proxy vote

If you encounter an emergency on Election day or lose your photo ID, you could be eligible for an emergency proxy vote. This must be for a reason you weren’t aware of before the normal proxy vote deadline (26 June). Typically, emergency proxy applications can be done up to 5pm on polling day. .

 

Why should I vote?

For many of you, this may be the first time to vote! But did you know, younger people are often underrepresented at the polling station - in fact, in 2019, only 47% of 18-24 year olds voted. This is compared to 74% of people over 65! 

It is important that students and young people are correctly registered so you can use your right to vote to shape future policies. You vote for MPs who will represent your views in parliament and influence policy decisions. They also work on local issues and you can get in touch with your representatives to raise an issue. Using your vote shows what matters to you and puts pressure on both losing and winning parties to shape policy.

Politicians are more likely to listen to demographics who they know vote more. That means they might make policies that vote towards older generations as they believe that this is a core constituency. If more young people show up and vote, this puts pressures on politicians and political parties to put forward policies that positively affect the younger generation. 

Voting Counts is an unbiased organisation that has put together useful resources about , as well as and .

And if voting on policies isn’t enough to get you out to vote…Being on the electoral register is one way that lenders or phone companies can verify your identity and where you live, and it could improve your credit score (don’t forget you also have to be a reliable borrower to have a good credit rating). If you’re signing up for a phone contract with your Uni address, being registered there shows that you legally live there so it is an important check.

 

Being an educated voter

Whether it is your first time voting or you’re an experienced voter, it is important to stay up to date on the mandates for parties and candidates.

Who do I vote for?

Only you can decide who you’d like to vote for! Prospective candidates (both affiliated with political parties or those running as independent candidates) will undertake campaigns outlining their manifestos, which are documents explaining their policy positions. Often these campaigns include leafleting and ‘hustings’ whereby candidates debate their policies and respond to questions, helping you to make your decision. Candidates will be announced on 7 June. Full information about candidates and their proposals is available on their respective websites and social media.

You can use the website to see the candidates in your constituency (note that official candidate lists will not be published until 7 June, however there may be some candidates known already).

Vote for Policies helps voters make decisions based solely on policy (i.e. healthcare, education, immigration), by allowing voters to take surveys to compare policies without knowing which party they belong to. . 

Not sure about what policies might affect students, or need more information? The National Union of Students (港彩开奖) have created a , based on a survey of more than 10,000 students. This outlines what students would like to see the next government do and also has a (i.e. climate, cost of living, health).

Another helpful resource is the . University of York is part of the Russell Group, which is a collection of universities that are committed to maintaining the very best research, an outstanding teaching and learning experience and unrivalled links with business and the public sector. You can read through their manifesto for further context about what the big priorities for students are and what is needed in the Higher Education sector.

 

What if I don’t like any candidates?

If you aren’t satisfied with any of the manifestos put forward or disagree with all of their policies, you can spoil your vote. You can do this by scribbling out the names on the ballot or otherwise drawing on the ballot before putting it in the ballot box. This means your vote is still counted but demonstrates you are unsatisfied with the options.