Ways to vote
Make a difference in local and national decisions by registering to vote in UK elections or referendums. Most people go to a polling station in person to vote but you can cast your vote in other ways.
Vote in person
If you’ve registered and are eligible to vote, the local elections office will send you a poll card telling you where and when to vote. You can still vote if you have misplaced your poll card, you don’t have to take it with you to the polling station.
- Polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm
- Provide your name and address to polling station staff
- You will be issued with a ballot paper and this will list the candidates you can vote for
- Take your ballot paper into the polling booth and follow the displayed instructions – you can use your own pen
- Fold your ballot paper and put it in the ballot box
If you’re disabled the election staff are able to help you. The polling stations will have wheelchair access, equipment for visual impairment and low-level polling booths.
Vote by post
You can use postal voting as a one off or permanently. You don’t need to meet a criteria to vote by post.
When you submit an application to vote by post your signature and date of birth will be scanned. This is to make sure the ballot paper you return is your vote. If the signature and date of birth don’t match your vote will not be counted.
You must have completed an application to vote by post at least 11 working days before an election.
Completing the postal vote
If your postal vote is spoiled – do not throw it away.
To get a replacement you need ring the Elections office 01472 324160 and they’ll need your spoiled paper before they can issue a new one.
- Your ballot paper will arrive in the post with instructions you must follow
- On the postal voting statement, you must sign it and put your date of birth – this statement is scanned and will verify that this is your vote
- Seal your marked ballot paper and signed postal voting statement in the envelope provided
- Please post your vote back as quickly as possible to make sure it’s counted
- If you miss the return date deadline, you can still take your vote to the polling station by 10pm
Changing your postal vote
If you already vote by post and something changes, it’s important that you complete a new postal vote application form .
Vote by proxy
If you’re unable to vote at your polling station we suggest applying for a postal vote. If that isn’t suitable and you need someone to vote on your behalf you can apply for a proxy vote. Unlike a postal vote there is a unique criteria to have a proxy vote and you must provide a reason for your application.
- a physical condition that means you can’t vote in person or by postal
- attending a course for educational purposes and won’t make it to your polling station
- unable to vote due to work or being away
Find where you need to vote
Your polling station will be listed on your poll card, if you do not have your polling card do not assume the station closest to you is where you can vote.
Or you can simply enter your postcode on the Where do I vote? website. Please note this information may not be up to date for by-elections. If you are unsure you can call our elections helpline on 01472 324160.