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.

Register to vote

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.

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 (overseas voter)

If you are a British citizen living abroad, you can apply to be an 'overseas voter'. From 16 January 2024, the 15-year limit on voting rights for British citizens living overseas was removed.

If you are a UK citizen living abroad, you can apply to be an overseas voter if you have previously lived or been registered to vote in the UK at some point in your life. Overseas declarations are now valid for three years, lasting until 1 November in the third year after it takes effect. For example, if the declaration takes effect on 1 March 2024, it will expire on 1 November 2026. 

As an overseas voter you are only eligible to vote in UK Parliament general elections, by-elections and recall petitions.

Register to vote

Find out more about overseas voters and registration

Postal and proxy voters for overseas voters

Overseas voters must remember to apply separately to vote by post (postal vote) or to apply for someone to vote on their behalf (proxy vote), unless they intend to return home to vote in person.

Service personnel and their spouse

Service personnel and their spouse can register:

  • annually as an ordinary voter
  • by a service declaration (these last three 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.

Get more information and register to vote online

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 website to find more about voting and who can vote