The main criteria you must satisfy in order to be registered to vote are:-
Electors must apply for registration at the address at which they currently reside, that being their usual and permanent place of residence and not a temporary residence such as a holiday home or second home used very much as a subsidiary residence.
In Scotland, you can register to vote if you are 14. You can vote in local and Scottish Parliamentary election when you are 16. The voting age for UK Parliamentary (Westminster) and European Parliamentary elections is 18.
Persons entitled to be registered are:
- British Citizens
- A qualifying Commonwealth citizen who has leave to remain in the UK or does not require such leave
- Citizens of The Republic Of Ireland
The citizens listed above have, subject to any other statutory restriction, full voting rights at all types of elections and referendums.
- Citizens of Other European Union Countries
These citizens are entitled to vote at Scottish Parliamentary and Local Government Elections only, although they may be included in National Referendums depending on the relevant franchise restrictions for the event.
They may also be entitled to vote at European Parliamentary Elections in this country subject to completion of a separate application form.
EU citizens are not eligible to vote in UK Parliamentary Elections.
Registration requiring a declaration
Service Electors (HM Forces, Crown Servants & British Council Employees abroad)
Service electors can register by making a service declaration every five years, or they can simply register in the same way as any other elector by completing an application.
British citizens living overseas can register to vote in this country. An overseas elector registration form must be completed annually by a British citizen who has ceased to be normally resident in the UK and presently resides overseas.
Please note that an Overseas Elector cannot vote at Scottish Parliamentary or Local Government Elections or any referendums held on this franchise, which will include the Referendum on Scottish Independence.
An Overseas elector requires to satisfy one of the following conditions: –
- The elector was last resident and included in the register at the address claimed for, within the last fifteen years.
- Persons who were too young to be registered before going overseas require to produce a copy of their birth certificate and give their parents or guardians name and registration address.
Declaration of Local Connection
Existing legislation recognises “notional residence” which can be applicable to the Homeless, Mental Health Patients or Remand Prisoners. Each must make an annual declaration in order to be included in the Register.
- Homeless People – a person can make a declaration to be registered at any place where they spend a substantial part of their time, day or night or for the address nearest that place. This could be, for example, a day centre or any other place where a person habitually resides.
- Mental Health Patients & Remand Prisoners – such persons can be registered at the institution where they are resident; an address where they would otherwise be living or an address where they have previously lived.