Carers Trust is encouraging all carers to register to vote, or to check they are registered to vote.

Did you know that the way you register to vote has changed? This means that even if you were registered to vote before, you may not be registered now.
 
If you are a young adult carer, this may be the first time you have voted in an election, or registered to vote. You can only be registered to vote in one place, so if you are away at university you can be registered at your university accommodation or at home, but not at both. 
 
As a carer, you might also need to help the person you care for to register to vote, vote on the day of the election, or complete their postal vote. 
 
All carers' votes matter!

The next election is the General Election on 7 May 2015 (where we elect our MPs who represent us in the House of Commons); registering to vote means you are also registered to vote in local elections (for your local Councillors), as well as for other elections depending on which area of the country you live in — such as a Mayoral election.
 
If you want you can register for a postal vote. The form is online, but can't be submitted online. Your application must be received by your local election registration office (usually in your local council) by 5pm 11 working days before the election. Anyone can ask for a postal vote, you don't need to give a reason. It may be especially important for carers to consider registering for a postal vote, in case you can't get to the polling station on election day because of caring, or other commitments. Some parties may offer a lift to the polling station if this would be easier for you — you don't have to vote for the party who gives you a lift!
 
If you aren't sure who to vote for, you may want to ask candidates how they and their party will make sure they "Don't forget about carers in 2015". Carers Trust has 10 things we want candidates from all parties to commit to.
 
Of course, other issues may be important to you too, such as housing, transport and the environment. There are impartial websites that can help you decide which party you feel best represents your interests, such as Voteforpolicies.org.uk. It's important though that you don't try to tell people which party to vote for, because there are strict rules around impartiality before the election.
 
All the parties are still to publish their full manifestos - their commitments to the way they will run the country if they get into power. Some have published their key policies. You can look these manifestos up individually when they are published. 
 
Remember that voting is one way to make sure that MPs don't forget about carers in 2015!