Who can vote

About voting

Before you can vote in UK elections or referendums you need to register to vote. Your name and address will then appear on the electoral register.

If you’re on the electoral register you will receive a poll card a few weeks before the election. You can still vote without a poll card, but it makes things easier if you have it with you.

Your poll card will tell you the opening times and location of your polling station.

You can vote:

To be able to vote in Woking borough, you need to:

  • be 18 years of age
  • normally live at an address in Woking borough
  • be a British, Irish, Commonwealth or European Union (EU) citizen.

When the UK leaves the EU, it is expected that EU citizens will only be able to vote at local elections . They cannot vote currently at UK Parliamentary elections.

Foreign nationals

If you’re a foreign national and wish to see if you are eligible to register, please check against the list of eligible nationalities.

Find out which foreign nationals can vote

Students

Students may register at both their home address and their college or university address. It is not an offence to register twice, but it is an offence to vote more than once in the same election.

British citizens living abroad

British citizens living abroad can vote at UK and European Parliamentary elections but not local government elections.

If you were registered to vote in the UK within the last 15 years, you can apply to be an overseas voter. You must apply to the last council with whom you were registered before moving abroad.

If you were too young to register when you left the UK, your parent or guardian must have been registered.

Service personnel and their spouse

Service personnel and their spouse can register:

  • annually as an ordinary voter
  • by a service declaration (these last 3 years)

For more information and to register to vote, visit Your Vote Matters: service voters

Crown servants or British Council employees

Crown servants or British Council employees working outside the UK can still register to vote. The spouse accompanying them during their employment abroad can also register under these arrangements.

For more information and to register to vote, visit Your Vote Matters: apply to vote by proxy

Homeless people

Homeless people may register at the address or place where they spend a large part of their time either during the day or at night.

To register to vote, you can:

Remand prisoners

Remand prisoners may register at the institution where they are currently resident or at the address they would have been resident or have previously lived.

To register to vote, you can:

Mental health patients

Mental health patients, either voluntary or detained (but not those detained for criminal activity) may register at the institution where they are currently resident or at the address they would have been resident or have previously lived.

To register to vote, you can:

More information

Visit the Electoral Commission’s Every Vote Counts website to find more about voting and who can vote