Voting is the foundation of our democracy. It is the way in which we, the women of Scotland, can have our say about the decisions being made by those in positions of power, that affect our lives. We can vote in council, Scottish Parliament, UK Parliament and European Parliament elections if you’re a British, Irish or European Union citizen, or a Commonwealth citizen who has leave to enter or remain in the UK, or who does not require such leave. The first step to voting is to Get Registered!
Get registered: Who can register to vote?
The 'electoral register' lists the names and addresses of everyone who's registered to vote. You need to be on it to be able to vote in elections and referendums. You can register to vote if you're a British, Irish or European Union citizen, or a Commonwealth citizen who has leave to enter or remain in the UK, or who does not require such leave.
In Scotland you must be 16 or over on polling day to vote in local elections and elections to the Scottish Parliament. You must be 18 to vote in elections to the UK Parliament and European Parliament.
You can register to vote when you are:
· aged 14 or older for Scottish Parliament and council elections
· aged 16 or older for UK Parliament and European Parliament elections
BUT you can't vote until you're:
· aged 16 or over Scottish Parliament and council elections
· aged 18 or older for UK Parliament and European Parliament elections
You only need to register once - you do not need to register separately for every election. You must register again if you’ve changed address, name or nationality.
Every local authority holds the electoral register for their own area. There is no online electoral roll.
To check if you are registered to vote, you will need to contact your local electoral registration office.
What do I need to register?
National Insurance number
You may be able to register anonymously if you're worried about being listed on the electoral register. You'll need to:
explain why your safety, or the safety of another person in your house, would be at risk
provide evidence to support your application
Download the form and find out more information here.
Registering without a fixed address
You can register to vote without a fixed address by:
filling out a form
sending it to your local electoral registration office
You can register in more than one place
If you are a student, you may be able to register to vote at both your home and term-time addresses. If you live in England, Scotland or Wales and are not sure if you are already registered contact your local electoral registration office. Find the contact details for your local electoral registration office.
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 general election.
It is a criminal offence to vote twice in a UK general election.
It’s sometimes possible to register at 2 addresses (though you can only vote once in any election).
For example, if you’re a student with different home and term-time addresses, you may be able to register at both.
Register twice if you live at 2 addresses.
How to register to vote?
You can register to vote online here
You can also register by post.
If you need help registering, contact your Electoral Registration Office.