So, dates for your #knittersagainstberexit diaries, and Facts About Voting…
Registering to vote
You need to be registered to vote by 26th November.
If you need to change any of your details (address, nationality, etc) you can also do it at that link, by re-registering. If you’re not sure that you’re registered, you can check with your local authority and they’ll tell you.
Postal and proxy votes
In Wales, Scotland & England:
- 26th November, 5pm: Postal vote deadline.
- 4th December, 5pm: Proxy vote application deadline.
In Northern Ireland:
- 21st November, 5pm: Proxy and postal vote deadline.
(this is the one where you get a ballot paper in the post and you X it up and send it back)
In everywhere except NI anyone can request a postal vote, and no reasons needed. In NI, you need to have a reason that you can’t make it to the polling station.
If you’re not in NI and you think that there’s a chance you won’t make it to the polling station on polling day, get yourself a postal vote. If you are torn between being practical and getting a postal vote, but also you really want to do a #catsatpollingstations selfie, remember that you can drop in your postal vote at the polling station if you don’t end up needing to vote by post. (You can’t transfer back to an old-skool vote, though, so you will need the ballot paper you get in the post.) If you’re worried about your vote going missing in the post you can drop it in at your local authority yourself.
(this is the one where you let someone else – a trusted someone else! – cast your vote for you)
You need a reason for a proxy vote; being away, working or unable to make it to the polling station are all valid here. You need to nominate someone who can get to the polling station you’re voting at (so local & trusted?), and they also need to be registered to vote, and eligible to vote at this election.
Emergency proxy votes
You can apply for an emergency proxy vote up until 5pm on polling day, but only if you have either a work- or medical-based emergency that stops you getting to the polling station, and that emergency happened after the proxy voting deadline.
Proxy-by-post: If you have a proxy vote set up, your proxy can then apply to vote by post on your behalf. Meta!
Race to the polls: If you have a proxy set up you can still go and vote in person. But if your proxy also goes to vote on your behalf then the first one there gets to make that X.
If you’re a student and live at university during term time, and head home for the holidays you can register to vote in both locations – but you can only vote in one. But – you can choose where you vote, and you can use a postal vote if you’re in the wrong place. This means you can cast your vote where it will make more of a difference.
There’s a nifty tool on the Guardian site to help you work out where your vote will make most difference,
Most #knittersagainstbrexit probably aren’t students – but you probably know some! So let them know and point them at that link up there.
Who can vote?
Citizens of the UK and of the Republic of Ireland and citizens of Commonwealth countries with leave to remain can vote in this election. There’s a full list here on the Electoral Commission site.
To vote, you also need to be 18 or over, not in prison as a convicted criminal, not convicted for any sort of electoral fraud in the last five years, and not a member of the House of Lords (any lords reading this?).
(Side note: the blanket ban on prisoners voting has been ruled incompatible with the ECHR.)
It used to be that some people with mental illnesses were disenfranchised. That changed in 2006 (hurrah!). Here’s a blog post about it (from the last election, but hey, read it anyway, it talks sense, not much is different). I think there’s still a fair bit of misunderstanding about this, in particular.
Get! Everyone! Registered!
Be your own little voter registration drive. Check that all your family and friends and (non-feline) loved ones are registered. It’s really easy to register (if you know your NI number it’s a two-minute task).
I’ll add to this list as we go… If you know about any registration drives, or handy-info for the easily-disenfranchised let me know!
Votey-McVoteface Know any live-aboard types? This is a nifty site that lets those canal-wanderers find the best constituency to vote in. (I am moored up here on Old Boatiepaws and can’t really do this.)
No fixed abode & voting Crisis have a guide on how to get yourself registered to vote.