Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Why vote?

May 07 2005
Even people without an address can vote in general, council and European elections. So, if you haven‘t already, here‘s how to register to have your say The closing date for registering to vote in the general election was March 11, so if you're not on the electoral register already you cannot vote in May. But you can still register to vote in future general elections, by-elections, European, and council elections. So why not register?

If you are in temporary accommodation (a B&B or hostel) you may register by picking up the relevant forms from your local council offices. If you are street homeless, it's a little different.

We asked Gemma Crosland at the Electoral Commission if it were possible to register if you were street homeless. The answer, which too few know, was yes. Crosland explained: "Legislation introduced in 2001 means a homeless person may register with a 'declaration of local connection' at the address of a place where they commonly spend a substantial part of their time - day or night." She gave examples of this as "a park bench, a bus shelter or the doorway to a high street shop. It could also be a night shelter or 'drop-in' centre."

A "declaration of local connection can be made at any time throughout the year by requesting a form from the electoral services office at the local council". With last election's voter turnout at an all-time low since universal suffrage was introduced, you could be forgiven for doing what so many others do and not voting - but it's better to buck the trend. Voting stops you being an outsider and allows you to steer the system.

Pick up the leaflet 'Register To Vote' by The Electoral Commission