How and Where to Vote
Who is eligible to vote?
To vote in elections you must:
be 18 years old or over on the day of the election;
be a British, Commonwealth, Irish or European Union citizen;
not be subject to any legal incapacity to vote, such as being in prison;
be registered on the Electoral Register.
European Union citizens can only vote in local and European Parliamentary elections.
Voting at a Polling Station
You can vote at your polling station between 7:00am and 10:00pm on polling day. Polling staff will check your details and give you your ballot paper(s). Once completed, your ballot papers should be placed in the ballot box.
Voting by Post
Deadline for applications: 5:00pm on the 11th working day prior to an election
You can apply for a postal vote (Opens in a New Window) at any time and for any reason.
Postal votes are normally sent approximately 10 days before the election. We can send postal votes overseas, but please remember that completed postal votes must be received by 10:00pm on election day; any later than this and your vote will not be counted.
If you wish to cancel your postal vote, you must do this in writing before the deadline above.
Voting by proxy
Deadline for applications: 5.00pm on the 6th working day prior to an election
Voting by proxy means appointing someone to cast your vote on your behalf and telling them which candidate(s) you want to vote for. You can apply to vote by proxy (Opens in a New Window) at any time but must have a reason for voting in this way.
Your proxy must:
be at least 18 years old and registered to vote;
be eligible to vote at that election themselves;
not already proxy for more than two people, unless they are a close relative;
- be able to place your vote at your local polling station or apply to vote by post on your behalf by the postal voting deadline above.
Proxy Voting for all elections
If you would like to vote by proxy for all future elections, your application must be supported by a medical professional, employer, tutor or other qualified person listed on the application form.
Proxy voting at one election only
You can apply to vote by proxy for one election. You must give a reason for your application but do not need it supporting.
Deadline: 5:00pm on Election day
You can apply for an emergency proxy vote for medical or employment reasons after the normal proxy voting deadline. You must give a reason for the application and declare that you could not have made your application earlier. Your application must be supported by a medical professional or employer.
Further information and emergency proxy application forms are available from Electoral Services.
Voting by Electors with Disabilities
We try to ensure that all polling stations are as accessible as possible for electors with disabilities by using temporary ramps, alternative entrances and removing any potential hazards.
Electoral Services are continuously looking for alternative venues that could be used as polling stations to make access as easy as possible for all electors. Assistance to gain access to any of our polling stations will be available from the polling staff at all times during polling hours.
To assist voters with disabilities, each polling station will have:
a large print version of the ballot paper(s) on display for the election(s) taking place;
a wider and lower polling booth;
a selecting device for voters with visual impairments to assist them when marking their ballot paper.
Any voter with any disability can ask for assistance in marking their vote. This assistance can come from the presiding officer or a companion of the voter. Anyone who assists the voter must maintain the secrecy of their vote.
If you would like any more information regarding access issues, please contact Electoral Services.