To be able to vote you need to be on the Electoral Register. When an election is held, there are three different ways you can vote:
If you are on the Electoral Register you will receive a poll card a few weeks before the election, which will tell you where and when to vote. On the day of the election you should go to the polling station that is printed on your poll card, this will usually be a school or church hall near to where you live. The poll card is for information only and you do not need it to vote.
Polling hours are 7am to 10pm for all elections.
The following steps explain how to vote at your polling station:
- When you arrive at the polling station, a polling clerk will ask for your name and address and will check that you are on the Electoral Register. You can show them your poll card if you have it but you do not need it to vote.
- The polling clerk will mark your name on the register to show that you have voted and will then hand you a ballot paper(s). The ballot paper(s) will list all the candidates standing for election and will be have an official mark.
- You should then go to one of the polling booths and read your ballot paper carefully as it will tell you how many candidates you must vote for. Put a X in the box next to the name of the candidate(s) you wish to vote for. Do not write anything else on the ballot paper(s), otherwise your vote might not count.
- Once you have voted you must fold the ballot paper(s) in half to hide your vote and put it in the locked ballot box. You don't have to tell anyone who you voted for.
If you need any help please ask the staff at the polling station as they are there to provide any assistance necessary.
If you are unable to get to the polling station on polling day then you can apply to have your vote sent to you in the post. More information on Postal voting.
This is where you would appoint someone to vote on your behalf if you are unable to vote in person or by post. Voting by proxy is useful if you are abroad or fall ill on the day of the election. More information on Proxy voting