Member of the Armed Forces (or husband, wife, civil partner)

You need to register in order to vote in any UK elections or referendums. You can use this site to look at some of our top reasons why its important to register to vote. You can also look at how you can vote, and what you can vote for.


Registering to vote at the Scottish independence referendum

Members of the Armed Forces, or their spouse or civil partner who are a British, Irish, qualifying Commonwealth or EU citizen can register to vote ahead of the Scottish Independence Referendum taking place on 18 September 2014 as either as an ordinary voter or a service voter.

The way they choose to register to vote will depend on their personal circumstances. In order to register as an ordinary voter the service person would need to be resident at an address in Scotland.


The deadline to register to vote is Tuesday 2 September 2014.


Those who choose to make a service declaration and register as service voters are able to register for up to five years at a fixed address in Scotland even if they are based outside of Scotland or think that they may be posted outside of Scotland in the next year.

A person may only register in Scotland as a service voter if:

• They are resident at an address in Scotland.

• Would have been resident at an address in Scotland if they or their spouse or civil partner were not posted abroad.

• They are a young person who will be 16 or 17 on the day of the referendum and they are living with their parent or guardian who is (or is entitled to be) a service voter. This registration is only valid for the referendum.

In some cases, a service person may be able to establish residency at more than one address in the United Kingdom. This situation could arise, for example, if they are stationed and residing in barracks in England, Wales or Northern Ireland but have their permanent family home in Scotland. In these circumstances they could choose to give their address in Scotland on their declaration. However, this choice arises only if someone can establish residency at a second address.

For more information on the Scottish Independence Referendum, visit our page here.

 

Registering to vote in the UK

You need to be registered to vote in order to have your say at any UK elections or referendums.

 

What are my registration options?

If you’re a member of the Armed Forces, or the husband, wife or civil partner of someone in the Armed Forces, you can register to vote either as a Service Voter or as an ordinary voter. The way you choose to register to vote is up to you and will depend on your personal circumstances.

• If you’re based overseas, or expect to be posted abroad in the next year, it makes sense to register as a Service Voter. This allows you to be registered at a fixed address in the UK even if you move around. A Service Voter registration also lasts for five years, so once you’re registered, you shouldn’t have to worry about it while you’re busy overseas.

• If you’re based in the UK and are unlikely to change address or be posted overseas in the next year, you can register as an ordinary voter. This is the type of registration where you’ll receive a household enquiry form through the post at your address once a year between mid-August and November. You need to return this with the details of everyone who is 16 or over who is resident and eligible to register to vote.

 

How do I register to vote?

If you are registering to vote in England or Wales, you can now do this online.

To register as an ordinary voter go to gov.uk/register-to-vote.

To register as an Armed Forces voter go to gov.uk/register-to-vote-armed-forces.

If you are registering to vote in Scotland you will need to complete a form and return it to the electoral registration officer of the UK address where you are registering. You can register as an ordinary voter or as an Armed Forces Voter.

 

How can I vote? What if I’m abroad on election day?

As you probably know, most people vote in person by going to a polling station in the UK. But don’t worry if you’re abroad at the time of the election or have another reason why you won’t be able to vote in person on the day - you can apply to vote by post or by proxy (someone voting on your behalf). Have a look at our How to vote pages for more information.

If you’re based abroad, you need to be aware that, due to election timetables, you may not receive your ballot paper until shortly before election day. Depending on where you’re based, there may not be enough time for you to return your ballot before voting closes (10pm on election day), so voting by post may not be the best way for you to vote. In these circumstances we would encourage you to appoint a proxy in the UK to vote on your behalf. Proxies can themselves apply to vote for you by post, if this is easiest for them. You can find more information on postal and proxy voting here.

Want further information on registration or voting? Have a look at our Frequently Asked Questions.


Want further information on registration or voting? Have a look at our Frequently Asked Questions.

 

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Electoral information

United Kingdom General Election 2015

The 2015 United Kingdom General Election will take place on 7 May 2015.

Your Electoral Registration Office

City of London
Electoral Registration Officer
PO Box 270
Guildhall
London
EC2P 2EJ
0800 587 5537
Email City of London