Voting and Laws

The United Kingdom is one of the oldest democracies in the world. Positions in government are filled and important policy questions are decided through the ballot. Everyone gets to choose of their own free will unlike in the past when monarchs has the final word on everything. People have rights when it comes to voting, and if they are not met- a criminal prosecutor may be needed.

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Who votes?

In order to vote in the UK, you must satisfy certain requirements. First of all, you need to be registered to vote so that you can be on the database. You need to be at least 18 years of age on the polling day itself. You should be a British or an Irish citizen. Qualifying Commonwealth citizens may also be given the right to vote. You must establish your residency in the UK through a valid address. However, those who are UK citizens living overseas may also participate. There should not be any legal impediments that would exclude you from voting such as serving a criminal conviction. Those who are dealing with a case may ask for more information from their defense counsel or a criminal prosecutor.

Why does voting take place?

Voting is necessary to hear the will of the people. All the power exercised by the government is deemed to emanate from the country's citizens. They get to choose who represents them in the Parliament, who serves them in their local governments, and so on. Every elected official has a fixed term and they must step down at the end of it, unless they get re-elected by their constituents. A new batch will replace the old after the results of a voting becomes known. Voting may also occur in special instances when an important policy requires the consent of the public.

When does voting take place in the UK?

As for the general elections, the voting must commence before the start of each parliamentary term. The longest term allowed for a parliament is 5 years, after which a new set much take over. The countdown starts from the first meeting. This is according to the Fixed Term Parliaments Act 2011. The first general election since it was passed was held on May 7, 2015. The next ones will be held every 5 years on the first Thursday of May.

These can all be cast aside if the parliament is dissolved prematurely. This can happen when the Prime Minister asks the Queen for a dissolution via Royal Proclamation. Within 17 days from its issuance, an election will held right away. Parliaments are usually dissolved when there is a vote of no confidence in the government. There is a 14-day period in which they may try to form a new government. If this fails, then the parliament will have to give way to a new one.

Who can help you if you don't get your rights when voting?

If your voting rights were violated, then you may to consult an election lawyer to get advice on how you could seek redress. The remedy will depend on how it was violated and what could practically be done to compensate.