Birmingham City Council

Get ready to take part in your first General Election!

Get ready to take part in your first General Election!

Have you turned 18 since May 2005? Or are you celebrating your 18th birthday in the next few months? If so, the forthcoming General Election could be your first chance to have your say on who represents you at Westminster.

But to cast your vote, you’ll need to be on the electoral register. A General Election can be called at any time between now and June 2010, so now’s the time to act.


So far, 44% of households have responded to the form sent to every household in Birmingham. Look out for the reminder registration form arriving at your address from the Birmingham Elections Office over the next few days.


If your house receives a form, make sure your family read the instructions carefully, and if there are no changes to the information shown respond by phone, internet or SMS text, (15% have already responded in this way) or if there are changes, then send the form to us in the freepost return envelope. Visits will be made by a team of canvassers from 8 – 21 October if we have still not received any information.


And that’s it! When the General Election is called, if you are registered, you will be able to vote. You can do this in person, at a polling station, or by applying for a postal vote or a proxy vote (where someone you trust casts your vote on your behalf).


Research from the independent Electoral Commission has shown that 22% of students in the UK are not registered to vote in elections. If you are a student, and live away from home during term time, you can register at your term time address as well and vote there instead should the election be scheduled while you are away from home. Remember, you can only vote once.


The independent Electoral Commission has a website, www.aboutmyvote.co.uk, packed with information about registering to vote, who can register and the different ways of having your say – you can even visit a virtual polling station!


Registering to vote takes a few minutes. Don’t miss out on your chance to make your voice heard.


For further information contact: Simon Houltby 0121 303 3503


Notes to editors

1. You can vote if you live in the UK and are aged 18 or over on polling day and a British, Irish Republic, qualifying Commonwealth citizen. British citizens living overseas are also eligible to vote if they have been registered in the UK in the past 15 years. Members of the UK armed forces serving abroad can also vote.

  • Category:
  • Reference number: 415-SH-CEo
  • Issue date: 23 September 2009