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I have two homes. Can I register to vote at both addresses?

A person’s name may appear on the electoral register only if they reside at an address within the electoral area. Residence is not defined in law, but it has been held by the courts to entail a ‘considerable degree of permanence’. Based on this criteria, it is possible for a person to be registered to vote in two different electoral areas. A person with two homes who spends about the same amount of time in each can be lawfully registered at both addresses.

However, it is unlikely that ownership of a second home that is used only for recreational purposes would meet the residency qualification. Ownership of a second home that a voter pays council tax on but is not resident in does not qualify them to be registered to vote in that area. It is for the local Electoral Registration Officer to decide in the light of an individual voter's circumstances whether they may be said to be resident at an address, and therefore eligible for registration. Electoral Registration Officers are required to consider each case on its own merits.

If an elector is registered to vote in two different electoral areas, they are eligible to vote in local elections for the two different local councils. However, it is an offence to vote twice in the same type of election e.g. voting twice in a general election. Such an offence could result in a fine of up to £5,000.

Further details about registering to vote at a second address can be found in Section 4, Part B of Guidance for Electoral Registration Officers (PDF).

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