How to vote

If you aren't registered, you can't vote. Make sure you register to vote!

There are three ways you can vote in an election

  1. In person at a Polling Station

    If you are registered to vote, then around 4 weeks before the election you will receive a poll card at your address telling you where to vote and the hours your polling station will be open.

    You can find the location of your polling station by searching for your postcode.

    • On arrival at your polling station the Presiding Officer will ask you to state your name and address. Providing you are eligible to vote at that election, they will then issue you with a ballot paper.
    • You should take the ballot paper to one of the voting booths and mark an "X" in the box on the right hand side of the paper against the name of the candidate(s) you wish to vote for. The maximum number of votes you can make is detailed at the top of the ballot paper. Do not put any other mark on the ballot paper or your vote may not be counted.
    • When you are happy with your vote, fold the Ballot Paper and put it into the ballot box.

    Staff are there to help so please ask questions if there is anything you are unsure of.

  2. By post

    If you think you will be unable to get to the polling station, you can apply for a postal vote. Anyone can have a postal vote and it's easy to apply.

    You will need to provide a sample of your signature and your date of birth (for security reasons) and then we'll post your ballot paper out approximately 2 weeks before polling day.

    The deadline for applying for a postal vote is 5pm, 11 working days before polling day, but obviously the earlier you apply the better.

    You can have your postal vote sent to a different address but you will need to tell us why you want this.

    Application to Vote by Post [PDF file 62KB]|PDF file

  3. By proxy

    To appoint a proxy you must have a valid reason for not going to the polling station in person eg. you are disabled, or will be out of the area on polling day.

    The deadline for applications to vote by proxy is at 5pm 6 working days before polling day. However, the earlier you apply the better as this will give us more time to tell your proxy where to go to cast your vote. This application will last for 1 election only.

    If you need to appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf on a more permanent basis, you will need to contact us for the relevant application form. You may need to get your application countersigned by your doctor or other qualified person.

    To obtain an application to vote by proxy, contact Electoral Services. Forms are available in a larger print version on request.

Further information about voting can be found on The Electoral Commission website: About My Vote|External link.

If you require assistance

Wheelchair users

There are a few polling stations, which do not afford easy access for electors with disabilities. In each case, a note to that effect will be included on the elector's poll card. Alternative voting arrangements can be made for any elector who is unable to access the polling place. Electors may opt to have a postal or proxy vote

Blind / partially sighted voters

Tactile voting templates and large print ballot papers are available at all polling stations. You can take a companion with you to assist you or ask the Presiding Officer at the polling station for help. Or you could request a postal vote or appoint a proxy.

Last Updated: 11/08/2015