Fringe Box



How to Make Sure You Have a Vote

Published on: 12 Jun, 2024
Updated on: 14 Jun, 2024

By Emily Dalton

local democracy reporter

Time is ticking to register to vote in the general election on July 4, with the deadline fast approaching on Tuesday, June 18.

Over a million Surrey residents will head to the polls to decide who should be their MP, which party should run the country, and which should be in opposition.

The general election will take place on Thursday, July 4. Polling stations, where most peaople vote, will be open between 7am-10pm. But before you can take part, you will need to be registered to vote. If you have not already been registered it is easy and the quickest way to do it is online.

In order to vote, you must have registered by 11.59pm on Tuesday, June 18. You can register online at: It usually only takes about five minutes. You will be asked to provide personal details, including your name, date of birth and address. If you have moved from a separate address in the last 12 months you will be asked to provide this as well.

The form will also ask you for your National Insurance (NI) number, although you can still register if you do not have access to it. You can find this on your payslips or a P45, if you have one. After you’ve registered, your name and address will appear on the electoral register. If the information you entered is verified, you are registered to vote and the civil service will send you an acknowledgement letter.

If you’re having trouble with an online form, you can register using a paper form. This can also be found via – you’ll need to print, fill out and send the form to your local Electoral Registration Office.

Voting by post

You will also be asked if you want to apply for a postal vote, in case you don’t want to vote in person. If you want to vote by post, the Electoral Registration Office must receive your postal vote application by 5pm on Wednesday June 19. If you applied to vote by post, you will be sent an application for a postal vote.

Voting by proxy

If you’re unable to vote in person you can ask someone to vote on your behalf. This is called a proxy vote. But, you can only apply for a proxy vote under certain circumstances, including:

  • being away on polling day
  • being registered as an overseas voter
  • having a medical issue or disability
  • not being able to vote in person because of work or military service

You must first register to vote (see above) before applying for a proxy vote. The deadline to apply for a proxy vote in the general election is 5pm on Wednesday, June 26.

Your proxy should be someone you trust to vote on your behalf. You’ll need to tell them which candidate you want to vote for.

ID (proof of identity)

Thousands of people in Surrey may not be able to vote because they do not have voter ID, according to a recent  study. New laws introduced in May 2023 mean individuals voting in England and Wales have been required to present a form of photographic identification at the polling station to cast their ballot.

Over 26,000 people in the Surrey county are registered but don’t have appropriate ID to vote – some 3 per cent of all those registered – according to exclusive data from Survation, Royal Holloway and University of London.

In the upcoming general election, voters must show a valid form of photo ID, such as a driving licence, passport, or blue badge, in order to cast their ballot. You may be turned away from the polling centre if you do not have suitable photo ID.

You can apply for a free voter authority certificate (VAC), either online or via postal mail. If you are voting by post, you do not need ID or a VAC.

The deadline to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate to vote in the general election is 5pm on Wednesday, June 26. You will need to provide the same information as you did when registering to vote: name, date of birth, address, and NI number.

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