General Election 2019: How To Register To Vote (And Why You Should)
Don't know if you've noticed, but a general election is looming.
As well as filling up on Christmas spirit, we'll also have to decide the future of our country (again) on 12 December.
We have the luxury of living in a democracy - but it's hard to deny that the political system in the UK is currently a bit of a mess.
It's not a perfect system - but it is one that gives us - you - a say.
As parties prepare to publish their manifestos, it is more important than ever that we all make sure we use our right to vote in the upcoming election.
Here at LADbible, we're launching Check Your PMs - a campaign to ensure that everyone knows how to vote. What you do with it is up to you...
It's our chance to have a voice - and don't give it all that 'but what difference does one vote make?'. Imagine if everyone thought that?
A recent YouGov poll said that a quarter of young people feel 'fearful' about the upcoming election; in a democracy, there's only one way to make sure that what the majority of people want to happen, actually happens - and that is to vote.
Anyway - now you're probably totally convinced that you must vote (have I stressed this enough?), you are possibly left wondering how. It's dead easy, so you literally have no excuse.
How to register to vote
If you're eligible to register to vote - aged 16 or over and a UK citizen - all you need to do is follow this link. You can even do it on your phone, so if you're on the bus or in bed or on the loo, you can still do it. It takes a few short minutes, then you're done.
You only have until 11.59pm on 26 November if you want to vote in person. You will then get a polling card through the post.
If you're 16 - 18, you can't vote yet, but you may as well register to get it out of the way; you won't need to do anything else other than update them if your details change.
If you want to vote by post - for example, if you're at uni - register before 5pm on 26 November if you live in England, Scotland or Wales, or 5pm on 21 November if you live in Northern Ireland.
You might as well just do it now though really.
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How to actually vote?
All you have to do is go to your local polling station - the address will be on your card - tick the box of who you want to vote for and put it in a box. It's that simple.
If you are prone to losing stuff, you can still vote - don't worry. Just contact your local registration office.
You do not have to take your poll card with you - if you can't find it, still turn up.
Give your name and address to the staff inside the polling station - this will usually be a public building like a school or church hall - when you arrive. They'll give you a ballot paper containing a list of the people, parties or options you can vote for.
Also - Northern Irish friends, take your photo ID with you on the day.
Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm on the day of the election. For more information, go to the Electoral Commission website. You can find your local polling station and other important stuff.
Since the referendum in 2016 - the one that resulted in 52% of people who voted saying they wanted to leave the EU - figures showed 18,000,000 people who were eligible to register to vote, didn't.
Almost 13,000,000 who were registered, didn't show up. To put that in to context, only half of people in the country eligible to vote either weren't registered, or didn't actually vote.
This could be down to a whole load of reasons, but one thing that's become clear from recent surveys is that the number of young people who have become more interested in politics is increasing - and young people are more aware of the importance of their vote (you can check how many people register each day here).
The day Prime Minister Boris Johnson started talking about a potential snap election, more than 24,000 people aged 24 or under registered to vote, and within 48 hours of the general election being called, that figure went above 100,000.
Remember, this isn't a vote about Brexit - this is a vote for the healthcare your family will receive, education, your local area, your rights as a worker. There are a range of resources out there that give unbiased overviews of policies, and where you can check up on which have been stuck to since the last election in 2017 - like this one.
In a recent LADbible Twitter poll - 34 percent of the 15,000 or so people who answered said that they weren't planning on voting in the election. One of the reasons cited was - 'they're all the same'. That is categorically not true - do a quick search on policies of the major parties and this will become clear.
However you decide to vote - one thing stands. Make sure you have your say.
Otherwise, you can't really complain, can you?
Check Your PMs is LADbible's countdown to the general election December 12. We'll be encouraging people to vote, looking at the issues that matter to our audience and asking YOU what you really think of politics in 2019.
Featured Image Credit: LADbible
Topics: general election