Why should I register to vote?

On this page you can read some of our top reasons why you should register to vote.

Voting is your democratic right as a citizen of the UK.

If you want to have your say, you must register to vote. Though registering to vote isn't something most people think about outside of election time.

Here are some of our top reasons on why you should register to vote right now.


1. If you don't register, you can't vote!

If you don't register, you can't vote – it's as simple as that.

To vote in any UK election, you have to be on the electoral register. It's easy to register.

In England, Scotland or Wales, you can register online at gov.uk/register-to-vote.

In Northern Ireland, visit the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland website.


2. Voting gives you a say on who represents you

Being able to vote gives you a say on who represents you in your local council, in the UK Parliament and in Europe. If you live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, being registered also gives you a say in who represents you there.

At any election in your area, one of the candidates will be selected to represent you whether you vote or not. If you're registered, you'll have the chance to have a say on who represents you by voting.

Some people are quick to say when they disagree with politicians, but if you don't register and don't vote, you won't be able to have your say.


3. Voting is your right

Across the world people have died fighting for the right to vote and to be part of a democracy – by registering to vote you'll be showing that you think that right is important.

Think about it this way – in the UK, less than 100 years ago, people were killed during their struggles to get the vote for women. In South Africa, not until the end of apartheid in 1994 were black people able to vote for the first time. Today, many people across the world are still denied the right to vote.


4. Elections can be called at short notice, and if you're not registered you won't be able to vote

A UK Parliamentary general election, for example, can be called as late as 17 working days before election day, so don't wait until it's too late – register today to make sure you can definitely have your say.


5. Voting gives you a say on important issues that affect you

Everything from roads and recycling in your area, to education and climate change – you may think you don't want to vote right now, but if an issue comes up that you want to have your say on, if you're on the register you'll have the chance to vote on it. Remember, registering to vote doesn't mean you have to, it just means you can if you want to.


6. Because it's easier than you think!

Registering to vote doesn't take long.

In England, Scotland or Wales, you can register online at gov.uk/register-to-vote.

It will take you even less time than it did to read this page!

In Northern Ireland, visit the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland website to download a form.