How do I vote?
Poll cards are normally delivered to all registered electors around two to three weeks before an election, usually before the deadline for applications for postal or proxy votes.
Each member of the household who is eligible to vote should receive a poll card, which informs them of the date of the election, where their polling station is and the hours of poll. You do not need to take the card with you to be able to vote.
For all elections the hours of poll are 7am to 10pm.
Postal votes are sent out several days before an election. This is to ensure that electors have sufficient time to receive their ballot paper and return it. Postal votes must be received by the close of poll on the day of the election. They may also be delivered to any polling station in the appropriate electoral area on the day of the election.
What happens at the polling station?
There will be at least two members of staff in the polling station – a Presiding Officer and one or more assistants (Poll Clerks).
You will be asked by the staff for your name and address. If you have a poll card it will help the staff but you will still be asked to confirm your name and address. It does not matter if you have forgotten your poll card you will still be able to vote if you are registered.
When your details have been verified you will be given a ballot paper, which you should take to a polling booth. A mark will be made against the register to show that you have voted. You will not be able to vote again in the same election.
Polling Booths are provided to allow you to cast your vote in secrecy. If you need help to mark your ballot paper, for example if you are blind, you can either ask the Presiding Officer to help you or you can take a companion to the station with you. You must inform the Presiding Officer if you wish to do this, as he/she will need to make a record of the number of votes not marked by the elector.
There will be a notice in the polling booth indicating how many candidates you can vote for. If you vote for more candidates than you are entitled to your vote will not be counted.
After casting your vote, you should fold the ballot paper in half and place it in the ballot box, which will be situated next to the staff working at the polling station.
If you make a mistake whilst marking your ballot paper you should ask the Presiding Officer for a replacement paper. Your spoilt ballot paper will be taken from you and will not be placed in the ballot box.
I am unable to get to my polling station on election day. Can I still vote?
If you are unable to get to your polling station on election day, you can apply to vote by post or vote by proxy (a proxy is someone who votes on your behalf).
For more information about postal and proxy voting or general information about the voting process please visit www.yourvotematters.co.uk.