How to vote
Whatever your political views, it is important that you exercise your right to vote at all elections.
When an election is approaching, details of the election timetable and voting arrangements will be widely publicised. To be able to vote you have to be 18 or over on polling day and on the Register of Electors for the area in which the election is taking place.
If you are eligible to vote you will be sent you a poll card telling you the date and time of the election and the address of your polling station. If an election is approaching and you are not already registered to vote, you will need to do so by the 12th working day before the poll. You can register online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
Voting in person at a polling station
To vote in person, go to the polling station stated on your poll card on the date of the election during the hours shown on the card. You can show the polling station staff your poll card, but you do not need it to vote.
Tell the staff your name and address and if they confirm that you are on the register, you will be issued with a ballot paper or multiple ballot papers if more than one election is taking place. Follow the instructions displayed on the ballot paper and in the polling booth to cast your vote. Fold your ballot paper in half and put it in the ballot box.
If you are not sure what to do, ask the polling station staff to help you, but do not let anyone see your vote.
Voting by post
You can request to vote by post, instead of going to a polling station, providing you appear on the Register of Electors. You will need to print and sign a Postal Vote Application Form to and return it to Electoral Services at the address below; alternatively you can ask for a form to be posted to you.
If you require a postal vote and an election is approaching, you will need to complete and return the form by 5.00pm on the 11th working day before the poll.
If you register to vote by post you will be sent a postal poll card containing details of the election, but you will not be able to vote in person at a polling station.
You will then be sent a postal ballot pack containing a postal vote statement and a ballot paper, which you should complete according to the instructions in the pack. You must complete and return the postal vote statement along with your ballot paper otherwise your vote cannot be counted. Return your postal vote using the envelope provided.
Voting by proxy
You can request a proxy vote if you need someone to vote on your behalf if you meet any of the following criteria:
- You are registered blind
- You receive the higher rate mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance;
- You have a physical incapacity; or
- Your employment is such that you could not attend the polling station.
- You can also apply for a proxy vote for one election if you will be away on holiday or away from home at the time of the election.
- You will need to print and sign a Postal Vote Application Form to and return it to Electoral Services at the address below; alternatively you can ask for a form to be posted to you.
If you have been appointed as a proxy, you can vote in person at a polling station or apply to vote by post by contacting Electoral Services.
If you require a proxy vote and an election is approaching, you will need to complete and return the form by 5.00pm on the 6th working day before the poll.
However, applications for an emergency proxy can be made up to 5.00pm on the day of the poll, but you will need to contact Electoral Services to arrange this and it will only be allowed in very specific circumstances.
When an election approaches, your nominated proxy will be sent a proxy poll card or a postal proxy poll card and postal ballot pack depending how they have chosen to vote.
They should go to the polling station to vote or complete the postal ballot pack as required. Even if you have nominated a proxy to vote to your behalf, you can still cast your own vote by going to the polling station, unless your proxy will be voting by post, but only if your proxy has not already voted on your behalf.
For more information or to find out if you are registered to vote please contact Democratic and Electoral Services:
Method of Contact
Democratic and Electoral Services