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Register to vote for the UK general election – what you need to know

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Stroud District Council is gearing up for the General Election on July 4 and if you’re unsure about voter registration, postal and proxy votes, and voter ID, we have all the information you need.

The Council received the official writ for the General Election (Friday, May 31) following the dissolution of Parliament. Issued by the Clerk of the Crown, the writ is the official request for a Parliamentary election to be run in the Stroud constituency. Writs have been delivered to all local authorities across the UK representing the 650 constituencies at Westminster.

Stroud District Council Deputy Acting Returning Officer for Stroud Constituency Andrew Cummings, who received the writ from Royal Mail at the council’s Ebley Mill offices said: “The writ formally starts the election process. We have ensured that the resources are in place to facilitate the democratic process of electing MPs. I hope as many people as possible take the opportunity to exercise their democratic right by voting on July 4.”

The majority of Stroud district residents will be voting to elect a Member of Parliament for the Stroud constituency, however residents of Minchinhampton, Bisley, Painswick with Upton and Hardwicke district wards are in the new North Cotswold Parliamentary constituency and Kingswood ward residents are in the South Cotswold Parliamentary constituency.

77,000 poll cards are due to be dispatched to the Stroud Constituency’s registered voters next week and the Council is keen to ensure that anyone entitled to vote does not miss out.

Here’s everything you need to know about registering to vote in the 2024 General Election:

Who needs to register?

If you have never voted, have moved address recently or have turned 18 recently then you will need to register by midnight on Tuesday, June 18, 2024.

You can even register if you are 16 or 17 but you will need to have turned 18 before the election date to be eligible to vote.

You can make sure you are registered to vote by visiting www.gov.uk/register-to-vote  and completing the relevant forms. You will need your national insurance number and date of birth in order to complete the registration process.

If you are not sure whether or not you are registered, you can check by calling Stroud District Council on 01453 766321 or check online using the form here: https://www2.stroud.gov.uk/apps/am-i-registered-to-vote.

What if I am away on July 4?

If you are not going to be able to visit a polling station on polling day to cast your vote, then you can make alternative arrangements to vote by post or proxy (where someone is appointed to vote on your behalf). More information on voting by post or proxy is available on www.stroud.gov.uk/elections or alternatively you can contact the council on 01453 766321 or email elections@stroud.gov.uk.

Postal votes

The quickest way to apply for a postal vote is at www.gov.uk/apply-postal-vote. Alternatively you can download an application and either post or email it to Stroud District Council, call 01453 766321 or email elections@stroud.gov.uk.

Completed postal vote applications must be received by 5pm on Wednesday 19 June 2024. The first postal votes are expected to hit doorsteps around Tuesday 18 June 2024 and the second batch around Saturday 22 June 2024.

A guide on how to complete your postal vote is included with your postal vote pack. If you do not receive your postal vote, a replacement cannot be issued until Friday 28 June. We recommend that you visit the Council Offices, Ebley Mill, Ebley Wharf, Stroud, GL5 4UB, bringing photographic ID with you, to obtain a replacement postal vote rather than rely on another to be posted to you given how close to polling day it is.

Proxy votes

The quickest way to apply for a proxy vote is at www.gov.uk/apply-proxy-vote. Alternatively you can download an application and either post or email it to Stroud District Council, call 01453 766321 or email elections@stroud.gov.uk.

Completed applications must be received by Wednesday 26 June 2024. Your appointed proxy will need to be able to vote on your behalf at your polling station and present their Voter ID.

Emergency Proxy

In certain circumstances, where you have an emergency that means you can’t vote in person, you can apply for an emergency proxy, to allow someone you trust to vote on your behalf at your polling station. This must be due to reasons that you weren’t aware of before Wednesday 26 June at 5pm. The Emergency proxy deadline is 5pm on Thursday 4 July.

Voter ID

All voters will need to show an acceptable form of photo ID at their polling station to cast their vote. For more information please see: www.stroud.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/elections/voter-id/

What if I live abroad?

You can register as an overseas voter if you are a British citizen. You can apply online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

If you are serving in the armed forces abroad there is a special form you can fill out here: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote-armed-forces. Likewise, if you are a Crown servant and British Council employee working abroad: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote-crown-servants-british-council-employees.

What and who am I voting for?

Political parties and independent candidates wishing to stand for election will submit nomination papers, including the details of individual candidates, to the Acting Returning Officer by 4pm on Friday, June 7. At 5pm on that day, a full list of those who will be standing for election will be published on Stroud District Council’s website.

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