Voting in local and national elections is very important, often the votes will be to decide on major changes to leadership of the local and central authorities.
If you want to vote in any UK election or referendum, you must be registered to vote.
As part of our online enrolment process you'll be asked whether you want to set yourself up to register to vote. Simply follow the instructions and guidance provided if you want to do this at enrolment stage.
Local councils provide services and facilities in your area. The type of council you have and their responsibilities depends on where you live. Local councillors oversee the work of the council, and set the strategies and priorities. When you vote in local elections, you vote for councillors to represent your ward.
If your home and university addresses are in two different local authority areas, you can vote in local elections in both areas. This is because they are separate elections.
National polls are considered to be one election, therefore you can only vote once in a national poll, such as a general election.
This means you must choose if you want to vote at your home address or at your term-time address. It is a criminal offence to vote twice in one election.
To apply to vote by post in England, Scotland or Wales, you need to download, print and fill in the postal vote application form available on the Electoral Commission website. You can apply for a particular election or referendum, for a specific time period, or for a permanent postal vote.
Once you have completed the form and made sure you have signed it, you need to send it to the electoral services team at your local council. You can send your form by post. The electoral services team at your local council may also accept a scanned copy of your form by email, but you should check with them first.
You will need to complete a new postal vote application if you have moved house.
If you aren't able to cast your vote in person, you can ask someone you trust to cast your vote for you. This is called a proxy vote and the person casting your vote is often referred to as your proxy. The person voting on your behalf can either go to your polling station to cast your vote, or can apply to vote for you by post.
To apply for a proxy vote, you have to complete a form and give a reason why you can't get to your polling station in person. This may be because you're going to be on holiday, or have a physical condition which means you can't get to your polling station on polling day.
You will be able to apply for a proxy vote via the forms on the Electoral Commission website