Can You Vote While on Holiday?


Posted in General Travel Family Travel Insurance on 5 June 2024

A Surprise Announcement

On 22nd May 2024, Prime Minister Rushi Sunak surprised many by announcing that the general election would take place on July 4th, 2024. While much has been said about the timing of the announcement, particularly its proximity to the summer holiday period for many, one question keeps cropping up – can I vote while on holiday?

Can You Vote While on Holiday?

The quick answer is, yes, you can vote while you’re on holiday, but you’re going to have to jump through a few hoops to make it happen. Let’s start with the basics. In order to vote in the UK, you need to be registered with the Electoral Commission. You can register online or by post using a paper form, but you will need to have a national insurance number.

The rules for voting in a general election are the same across the UK but are slightly different for other elections, e.g., local elections, depending on where you live in the UK, so it’s worth checking the rules for your region. Firstly, you need to be eligible to vote. You can vote when you’re:

  • 18 years old in England and Northern Ireland
  • 16 years old in the Scottish Parliament and local elections (and other elections when you’re 18)
  • 16 years old in Senedd Cymru (Welsh Parliament) and local elections (and other elections when you’re 18)

If you’re an eligible person and want to exercise your right to vote in the UK, then you’ll need to be registered with the Electoral Commission. You can register online or by post using a paper form, but you will need to have a national insurance number.

In the UK, there are three ways that you can vote:

  • In person at a polling station
  • By post
  • Voting by proxy

Voting by post and voting by proxy are your only real options if you’re going to be on holiday during the general election, but both will require some forethought and planning. There is currently no voting online in UK elections.

In Person Voting

This is the method most people will be familiar with. As it’s not much use if you’re on holiday, we won’t delve too much into this method, but it involves visiting your designated local polling station on a specific day, in person, to cast your vote. The biggest recent change of note is that you’ll now require a photo ID to vote.

Voting by Post

You can vote by post in general elections and other UK Parliamentary elections, local elections in England, Police and Crime Commissioner elections in England and Wales, Referendums, MP recall petitions.

If you’re abroad when an election is taking place and would like to cast a vote in England, Scotland, or Wales, you can apply for a postal vote. You aren’t required to say why you’re applying for a postal vote unless you’re voting in Northern Ireland.

When applying for a postal vote, you’ll need to have the following information to hand: the address where you’re currently registered to vote, your National Insurance number or other identity documents (e.g., a passport), the date of the election that you want to vote in.

You’ll also need to upload a photo of your handwritten signature in black ink on plain white paper. You could also be asked for additional documents to help identify you.

You can apply online or by post for a postal vote. Once you receive your voting slip in the post, it’s important that you complete and post your ballot back as quickly as possible to ensure it’s counted.

If you vote by post, it’s important that you fill out your ballot paper in secret and also fill in the postal voting statement. Only use the envelope provided to return the completed ballot and seal the envelope yourself.

Voting by Proxy

If you’re unable to vote in person or by post, voting by proxy is another option available to you. This means you can appoint someone you trust to vote on your behalf. However, there are specific rules and procedures to follow for this method.

To vote by proxy, you need to apply for a proxy vote by filling out a form provided by your local Electoral Registration Office. You can apply for a proxy vote for a specific election, for a set period, or permanently if you have a long-term disability.

Your chosen proxy must be a registered voter themselves and eligible to vote in the same type of election. They can only act as a proxy for a maximum of two people who are not close relatives.

Once your proxy application is approved, your chosen proxy will receive a proxy poll card informing them where and when they can vote on your behalf. They must then go to your designated polling station and cast your vote in person.

It’s important to choose your proxy carefully and ensure they understand your preferences. They must vote according to your instructions, and they cannot vote for themselves as well as on your behalf.

Remember, voting by proxy requires careful planning and communication, so make sure you apply well in advance of the election date.

For more information on how to register to vote and voting in general please visit www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

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You can get a Voyager Plus Travel Insurance quote by clicking the “Get A Quote” button below or by calling our UK Based Call Centre on 01483 806 680.

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To find out exactly what a Voyage Plus Travel Insurance policy cover, please see our policy wording.

This article is for information and entertainment purposes only. It does not constitute advice in any way. The information provided here is correct at the time of writing however please check the latest policy wording for the latest terms, conditions, and exclusions.


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