Whatever your political views, it is important that you exercise your right to vote at all elections. This page tells you how you can vote.
To be able to vote you have to be 18 or over on polling day and on the electoral register for the area in which the election is taking place. Unless you have re-registered under the rolling registration procedure, you should be registered where you were living on the previous 15 October.
If you wish to check whether or not you are registered, please contact the Election Helpline.
The following people are allowed to vote:
- If you are eighteen years or over:
- all British, Commonwealth, Irish and other European Union citizens.
- overseas electors
- members of HM Forces and their spouses
- crown servants employed outside the United Kingdom
- European citizens are allowed to vote in European and Local Elections only.
- overseas Electors are allowed to vote in Parliamentary and European Elections only.
Poll cards are delivered shortly before an Election. 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 poll card with you to be able to vote.
If you vote by post, the card will confirm this, give an indication of when your postal vote is likely to be sent out, and inform you how to cancel or to change your postal vote. If you receive a postal vote, you are not allowed to vote in person instead.
How to Vote at a Polling Station
Polling times for all elections are 7am to 10pm. On arrival at your designated polling station, the Presiding Officer will ask you to confirm your name and address and will issue you with a ballot paper. You should take the ballot paper to the voting booth and mark with a "X" the candidate(s) you wish to vote for. A notice in the booth will tell you how many candidates you can vote for. If you make a mistake, show the spoilt paper to the presiding officer (the member of staff in charge of the polling station) and ask for another ballot paper. Fold the ballot paper and deposit it in the ballot box
If you have appointed a proxy, you can, nevertheless, still vote in person, provided you do so before your proxy attempts to vote on your behalf. In these circumstances, of course, your proxy would not then be allowed to vote for you.