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These are tempestuous times in the UK, with talk of snap general elections and second referendums. As such, it pays to be prepared and on the electoral register. Luckily, the process is incredibly easy. Here’s how to register to vote online.
Even if you’ve been registered since, say, the tricky days of 1974, the steps below will apply if you ever change your address, name or nationality – or want to register for a postal vote.
How to register to vote online
As you’d expect, the government makes registering as straightforward as possible – it doesn’t want people being bamboozled by endless tickboxes.
First, head to gov.uk/register-to-vote. If you’re from Wales and would prefer the process to be in Cymraeg, there’s a helpful option to switch languages at the top of the page.
Before you begin entering information, you’ll need your National Insurance number to hand. However, if you’ve lost your card and can’t remember the number, follow the instructions here. When registering from abroad, you’ll also need your passport information.
Scroll down and press the big green “Start now” button.
You’ll work your way through various lists of options, such as where you live, your nationality and date of birth. Press Continue once you’re finished with each one.
The process should take no longer than five minutes. At the end, you’re prompted to review your information before sending it off for approval. It’s worth triple-checking that everything is correct because mistakes aren’t treated lightly.
Once that’s done, you’ll receive a confirmation email containing a ten-digit reference number. Your local electoral registration office will then deal with your application within ten days – in my experience, it can take longer than that – and let you know the outcome via letter or email.
And that’s it. It may not be the most pulse-quickening article I’ve ever written for The Big Tech Question, but it’s certainly one of the most important. Registering to vote online is now so easy that there’s really no excuse not to.