Skip to main content

Registering to vote in the UK and voting in elections

If you're a British, Irish or qualifying Commonwealth citizen, resident in the UK, you can register to vote. You'll also need to show photo ID when you vote.

England has elections on 4 May for some local councils, and this includes Bath and North East Somerset.

You can read a guide to UK elections from the UK government.

It's important that you register, as universities are no longer able to automatically add students to the electoral register.

Registering to vote

You can read how to register to vote in the UK, including the minimum age and where you must live.

You can register even if you don't have a National Insurance number. And you can register anonymously if you're concerned about safety.

Once you've registered you'll be added to the electoral register. If you're a student with a different term time and home address, you can register at two addresses, but you can only vote once in an election.

Once a year the Electoral Registration Office contacts every address to check that the details on the electoral register are correct. You may also be contacted when you move to a new address, reminding you to register. If you don't register to vote when you're asked to, you could be fined.

Photo ID for elections

As well as being on the electoral register, you also need to take proof of your identity to get a ballot paper at a polling station.

The need for photo ID is a new requirement, introduced by the UK Government’s Elections Act, starting on 4 May 2023. Find out about the photo ID needed to vote and the accepted forms of ID.

If you don't have accepted photo ID, you can apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate.

To vote in the England local elections in May you have to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate by 5pm on Tuesday 25 April 2023.

Voting by post

The deadline to apply to vote by post in England's May elections is 5pm on Tuesday 18 April. Find out how to vote by post.

Voting on campus at the Library

For the local elections on 4 May 2023, the University will have a polling station in The Library on our Claverton Down campus, open from 7am to 10pm. Remember to bring your proof of identity when you come to vote.

This campus polling station is only for students who registered to vote with a campus address (in halls of residence). If you live elsewhere in the city, your polling card will direct you to the polling station for your local area.

The Polling Station will be in the Library Food and Drink area on Level 2 (the south-east corner of the Library Entrance level, facing onto the Parade). You won't be able to use the study and rest area, or the vending machines, from the evening of 3 May until early on 5 May.