Last couple of days - Remember you have till the 20th April to register to vote in the 2015 General Election and Local Elections! Make sure your voice is heard!
Don't miss out on your chance to vote and have a say in who runs the country.
Your right to vote
You can vote in UK parliamentary elections once you are on the electoral register and provided that you are also:
• 18 years of age or over on polling day
• a British citizen, or be a Commonwealth citizen or a citizen of the Irish Republic (and resident in the United Kingdom)
• not subject to any legal incapacity to vote (for example, if you are in prison)
At a general election, the following people cannot vote:
• anyone under 18 years old
• members of the House of Lords, including life peers, Church of England archbishops and bishops and hereditary peers who have retained their seat in the House of Lords - these people can, however, vote at elections to local authorities, devolved legislatures and the European Parliament
• European Union citizens - who can, however, vote at local government, devolved legislature and European parliamentary election level
• citizens of any country apart from the Irish Republic and Commonwealth countries • convicted persons detained in pursuance of their sentences, although remand prisoners, unconvicted prisoners and civil prisoners in default of fine or breach of 'recognisance' (an obligation to the court or magistrate) can vote if they are on the electoral register
• anyone found guilty within the previous five years of corrupt or illegal practices in connection with an election
and, under common law:
• people with learning disabilities or a mental illness if, on polling day, they are incapable of making a reasoned judgement
Register to vote
If you are eligible to vote, you can register at any time by contacting your local electoral registration office, which is usually based at your local council office. You will need to fill in a voter registration form.
It is not the case that you are automatically registered to vote if you pay Council Tax or are registered in a house where Council Tax is paid. Electoral registration is a separate process to Council Tax registration.
Once registered, you will be able to vote in a number of different types of election: parliamentary, local government, Scottish Parliament, Welsh and Northern Ireland Assembly and European Parliamentary elections. Information about which types of elections you are eligible to vote in, and when elections will be held is available from your local electoral registration website.
If you aren't on the electoral register, you can't vote. The electoral register is updated each month so you can have your name added to it at any time. If you have recently moved, or aren't registered to vote for any reason, you should contact your local council. Also see the www.aboutmyvote.co.uk site where you can sign up online to register to vote.
The Electoral Commission has more on elections and the importance of voting.
Vote by post
Anyone can apply for a postal vote. So if you can't get to the polling station for any reason, a postal vote means that you won't miss out on your right to vote.
See http://www.aboutmyvote.co.uk/ for more postal votes information.