Voter Registration Day

All votes matter to the future of Wales - so register yours now.

Did you know that if you’re a foreign national living in Wales, you’re now able to vote in Welsh elections?

Last year’s national Senedd elections were the very first time qualifying foreign citizens and 16 and 17 year olds were able to vote– perhaps you voted then?

But if you didn’t, you have another chance to have your say, coming very soon.

Local elections are taking place in Wales on Thursday 05 May – and this is the first time foreign citizens have been able to vote in them.

But in order to vote, you must be registered.

Registration to vote closes on Thursday 14 April – if you are not registered by this time, you cannot vote.

Registering to vote can be done online, and only takes a few minutes. To register to vote, go to: www.gov.uk/register-to-vote


Why vote?

Local elections put councillors into your local council. Your local council has powers over the way your local area is run. This means they decide things on a local level that will affect you, whether you realise it or not.

This includes things like:

  • Planning applications: should that office block, or housing estate, be allowed to get built there, or not? What about that new café, or bar?

  • Education: how much money your child’s school, college or sixth form will be given, which affects the way they’re taught and what resources they are given in school to help them learn (not enough iPads in school?)

  • Transport: do the buses in your area run often enough, and on the routes you want them? Councils issue the money to bus services, and if there isn’t enough funding, buses don’t run as frequently.

  • Community facilities: whether clubs and other provisions for people in your area will get money - from sports and dance clubs, to libraries and language centres.

These are just a few examples of the sorts of issues local councils have power over. If you want to have power over them, you have to vote in your local election


What to do next
  1. Visit www.gov.uk/register-to-vote before 14 April

  2. Click the ‘start now’ button and enter your details – this takes 5 minutes. You’re now registered to vote!

  3. You’ll notice a lot of leaflets getting put through your letterbox at home in the lead up to the elections. These are from the various parties and people running in the election. Read them: they’ll explain what issues are important to them and what they will try to achieve if they’re elected. Decide which you agree with the most to help you choose who to vote for.

  4. Your polling card will be posted to you before the elections. It will tell you where to go to vote, known as a ‘polling station’, and what time the polling station is open. You DO NOT need it to vote but it might make your trip to the polling station quicker if you do take it

  5. Vote on 05 May! Staff at the polling station will ask for your poll card or your name and address if you don’t have this, then hand you your ballot paper. To cast your vote, simply mark an ‘x’ in the box next to the candidate you’d like to vote for, then pop your form (known as a ‘ballot’) into the ‘ballot box’


Meet Zaneta

Zaneta is originally from Poland, and now living in Cardiff. She is one of the stars of a Welsh Government campaign to encourage people to register to vote in the upcoming local election. She will be featuring in a short film that will be seen across the country, encouraging qualifying foreign nationals to register.


“As a foreign national living and working in Wales I believe it is important for us to be part of society, and voting is an opportunity for us to have a voice on matters that affect us directly. “Voting is our chance to stand up for the issues we care about. If we don’t vote, someone else will make the decision for us on how our taxes are used, matters that affect the community's future, and the quality of life we want for ourselves and future generations. “If you're a foreign national living in Wales you can now vote in the local elections. I encourage you to use that vote, as united we are stronger and our voice can be heard.”

Registering to vote can be done online, and only takes a few minutes. To register to vote, go to: www.gov.uk/register-to-vote


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