Having the right to vote is an important part of democracy. It allows individuals to have real political power and ensure that the issues that you care about have the chance to be debated in Parliament, in local Councils and on wider platforms like European Parliament. However, the way voter registration works has changed. Everyone now has to take responsibility for their own registration by providing identifying information including name, date of birth, and national insurance number. It is now a legal requirement to register to vote, so make sure you follow the link at the bottom of the page to register now.
These changes have impacted young people, particularly students. Even in years where there is not a planned election, there could be the chance to engage in a by-election, where an election has to be re-held, a nationwide referendum, such as the Scottish Independence Referendum 2014, or another election occurring that you can have your say in. Being on the electoral register can also help in a number of ways, especially when applying for credit in the form of a mobile phone contract, a mortgage, or a loan. They say old habits die hard, and getting into the habit of registering to vote means that when an election year does arise, you won’t be missing out on a future chance to have your say!
As students, you can also appear on the electoral register twice – both at your term time address in Leicester, and at your home address. It’s really easy to register, all you need is your national insurance number (if you have one) and you can do it in five minutes online! The city council is currently running an active household canvas, meaning that if you live in the city you should have received a letter about registering to vote. If you do not respond, then you will shortly receive a reminder and receive a visit from a local council officer who will be able to assist you in registering to vote.
For more information and to register, use the following resources:
Electoral Services Team: 0116 454 2000
Benefits of voting: www.bitetheballot.co.uk