This article will explain how eligible students can register to vote in Portsmouth.


Voting in General and Local elections in Portsmouth


If you meet the eligibility criteria to vote in the UK, you can be registered to vote in Portsmouth at your term time address as well as your home address*. Registering to vote in Portsmouth will ensure that you have the opportunity to have your say at elections whilst studying away from home.


*Please note: you can only vote once. You cannot vote in Portsmouth and at your home address at the same time (in one election).

Eligibility to Vote


Eligibility to vote varies depending on whether it is a general or local election. Eligibility criteria can be found on the UK government elections website and the criteria for a general or local election are listed below.


For a general election, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be registered to vote
  • Be 18 years old (or over) on the day of the election vote (known as 'polling day').
  • Be a British, Irish or Commonwealth citizen
  • Be resident at an address in the UK (British citizens living abroad can also vote IF they have been registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years)
  • Not be legally excluded from voting

For a local election, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be registered to vote
  • Be 18 years old (or over) on the day of the election vote (known as 'polling day'). In Scotland you must be 16 or over.
  • Be a British, Commonwealth or EU citizen
  • Be resident at an address in the area you wish to vote in
  • Not be legally excluded from voting 


How do I register?


1.  Go to register to vote to vote online or download a paper form to register by post

2.  You will need to provide your name, any previous name, address in Portsmouth (including postcode), home address (including postcode), date of birth, national insurance number (which can be found on your national insurance card or official paperwork such as payslips) and a few other details. You may also need your passport.

3.  Once you have been registered, it will be confirmed in writing.

Need help? Call the voter registration helpline 023 9283 4074.

For more information, visit the Portsmouth City Council website and search ‘register to vote’.


How/Ways to Vote 


You can vote in 3 ways as follows:

  • In person
  • By post
  • By proxy

How you vote is up to you. Most people vote at a polling station. If you are not able to go to the polling station on election day, you can apply to vote by post or by proxy.

For details on these ways to vote, visit voting-in-the-uk website.                

Disabled voters can:

  • Ask the person in charge at the polling station (the Presiding Officer), to mark the ballot paper for them
  • Bring someone to the polling station to help them vote (this person must be an immediate family member over 18 years old, or someone else who is registered to vote)
  • Use a Braille plastic device that is fixed onto the ballot paper to help them vote
  • See a large-print version of the ballot paper


Can I vote twice – at home and at university?


  • If your home and university addresses are in two different local authority areas, you can vote in local elections in both areas.
  • However, even if you are registered in two areas – at home and at university – you can only vote in one at a UK general election.
  • It is a criminal offence to vote twice in a UK general election.


How do I check if I am registered?

If you wish to find out whether you are registered to vote, contact your local Electoral Registration Office.



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