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The Importance of Students Registering on the Electoral Register

Have you registered on the electoral roll yet? The electoral register (or electoral roll) lists the names and addresses of everyone who is registered to vote.

However, voting is not compulsory, so you can still choose not to vote after registering on the electoral register.

The law says who can have a copy of the full register, and what they can use it for. The full list of such persons and purposes is given in the Representation of the People (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2002. It is a criminal offence for them to pass it on to anyone else or to use it for any other purpose.

Here’s why it is important to register, particularly for students.

Your Eligibility to Vote

To be eligible to vote in the UK, you must register on the electoral roll, You must be aged 16 or over (or 14 or over in Scotland and Wales).

And be one of the following:

  • a British citizen.
  • an Irish or EU citizen living in the UK.
  • a Commonwealth citizen who has permission to enter or stay in the UK, or who does not need permission.
  • a citizen of another country living in Scotland or Wales who has permission to enter or stay in the UK, or who does not need permission.

As a student, UCAS clarifies that you can register to vote at both your home and term-time addresses. If your home and university address are in two different local authority areas, you can vote in local elections at both, but only in one for general elections.

The 2024 general election is approaching in the UK (at the time of writing this post, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he expects this to be in the second half of the year).

Every vote counts – it’s important to ensure that young voices are heard and to have your say on who makes decisions about the issues you care about.

Your Credit Score

The electoral register is also used in credit referencing; for example, if you want to open a bank account or take out a mobile phone contract.

According to Experian, doing so can improve your credit score as being on the register helps lenders to confirm your name and address.

It can also help you to save time when making credit applications, and make accessing certain services like getting a passport much easier.

Your Employability Prospects

Some employers also use the electoral roll to check your details when reviewing applicants for job openings, so being on the electoral register can be important when looking for a job.

To register on the electoral register, use the Gov link here.

Written by the Nurtur Team