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Your right to vote

If you are aged 18 or over, you have a legal right to vote in all local and national elections.

Elections give you the chance to vote for who you would like your local and national representatives to be.

You might find it helpful to do some research before you vote, to help you make your decision about who you would like to vote for.

July 2024 Parliamentary election

On Thursday 4 July 2024, a general election is taking place. This gives anyone aged 18 and over the opportunity to vote for which political party they would like to lead the government.

The way this works is that the UK is divided into constituencies. York has two constituencies: York Central and York Outer. In each constituency, candidates from different political parties stand for election. When you vote, you will see the names of all candidates listed on the ballot paper and the political party they are a member of. The person with the most votes will become a Member of Parliament for their constituency.

If you would like to find out more information about the upcoming election, including information about the candidates, please go to City of York Council's Parliamentary election July 2024 webpage.

Registering to vote

To register to vote you must be 16, although it’s important to note that you cannot vote until you are 18. You must be a British Citizen, or an EU/Commonwealth citizen living in the UK.

You can register to vote online or request a paper form. To find more information and to register, go to City of York Councils Register to Vote page.


Once you have registered to vote, this then allows you to vote at future elections. There are three ways you can vote:

  • in person at a polling station
  • by post
  • or by applying to have someone else vote for you (voting by proxy)

If voting in person, you will receive a poll card by post telling you the date of the election and which polling station you should go to. You do not need to take your poll card to vote, however you must take your ID with you. To find out which photo ID is acceptable, check the full list on GOV.UK. If you don’t have photo ID, you can still vote either by applying for a postal vote or requesting a free voter authority certificate.

If you want to vote by post you must apply beforehand, you can either do this online or through the post.

Voting by proxy is when you are unable to vote in person and you ask a trusted person to vote on your behalf. You can only apply for a proxy vote under certain circumstances like being away on polling day, having a medical issue/disability, or because of military service for example. You can apply for voting by proxy online or by post.

For more information on how to vote, applying for a postal vote, apply to voting by proxy or requesting a voter authority certificate, visit the How to vote page on GOV.UK

For even more useful information, specifically designed for care leavers who may not have access to certain forms of ID, visit Become A Charity's website.