By Jess Cook, Communications Officer, The Electoral Commission
Are you an organisation that works closely with those who are homeless or living in temporary accommodation? Find out how you can support them to register to vote in the upcoming local elections on 4 May.
This May, local elections will take place in Scotland, Wales and some parts of England. These elections impact the provision of a variety of local services such as housing, homelessness prevention, public transport and social services.
The key message of our voter registration campaign is, ‘The local elections are #OnYourDoorstep’. Yet we want to ensure that those without a doorstep of their own are aware that they can register to vote with no fixed address.
Not everyone has their own doorstep, but they do have the right to vote.
Help us ensure that those who are homeless or living in temporary accommodation know that their vote matters and they have the right to vote, just as much as anyone else.
If you’re supporting someone who is homeless or living in temporary accommodation, here’s what you need to know…
Those who don’t have a permanent home can register at an address where they spend a substantial part of their time, whether during the day or night. This could be a shelter or any place where they sleep or spend a large part of their day.
This can be done by filling in a form called a ‘Declaration of local connection’. There are two forms – one for people in Scotland and one for people who are in England or Wales.
To apply to register, you can download a Register to vote form (no fixed address) from gov.uk. Alternatively, you can get the form from your local electoral registration office.
Those living in temporary accommodation may be able to register at that address, provided that they don’t have a permanent address elsewhere. If they are unsure if this is the case they should contact their local electoral registration officer.
The registration deadline for England and Wales is midnight, Thursday 13 April.
The registration deadline for Scotland is midnight, Monday 17 April.
You can find more information on eligibility at yourvotematters.co.uk.
Working in partnership with homelessness organisations means we can reach more people who are homeless or living in rented or temporary accommodation with our voter registration message.
“One of the most striking parts of working on these campaigns is seeing the confidence that registering and voting can instill in people. Often those who are homeless or moving from one temporary accommodation provider to another feel their views don’t matter; that they don’t have a voice and that all power has been stripped from them.
Being told they can register to vote and that their vote matters just as much as anyone else’s can be incredibly empowering and it can be one of the first steps to building their confidence again.” – Jonny Mitchell, The Electoral Commission
Share this blog on social media now! You can find more about registering to vote with no fixed address on yourvotematters.co.uk.