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How to vote

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Voting at a polling station

You will receive a polling card with details of your polling station. Please check this carefully as your usual polling station may have changed. You may still vote without your polling card.

Polling stations open from 7am to 10pm on the day of the election. 

If you are unable to get to the polling station on the day of the election there are other options on this page. A video from the Electoral Commission on YouTube has useful information about absent voting (voting by proxy or postal vote):

Registering to vote

Most people are registered at their current address, but you need to check if you have recently moved house, changed your name or nationality, or recently turned 18. If you are unsure if you are registered, you can contact us using our general enquiries form.

Contact us

COVID-19 safety measures

We are putting arrangements in place at polling station to help you stay safe. If you choose to vote in person, you can keep yourself and others safe by:

  • requirements for staff and voters to wear face coverings (if not exempt)
  • hand-sanitising stations on the way in and out of polling stations
  • regular cleaning of polling booths and pencils (encourage electors to bring their own pen/pencil to minimise contact)
  • social distancing of at least 2m
  • queues outside to minimise interactions and keep you safe
  • confirming the number of electors that can be safely allowed in each polling station at any time. Once at capacity a one in, one out policy may be in place at some polling stations.

You should not attend the polling station if you have symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have been asked to self-isolate.

We will continue to follow the most up to date public health guidance as we prepare for the elections and will update this page as more information and guidance becomes available.

However, you may choose to apply to vote by post or by proxy instead.

Voting by post (postal vote)

You can still vote even if you are unable to go to your polling station on election day. You may now receive a postal vote on request. Please note that postal votes are normally sent out approximately one week before polling day.

If you think you will need a postal vote at a forthcoming election, you can apply today whether or not an election has been called.

Applying for a postal vote

Please contact us by using our general enquiries form if you would like an application form.

Postal ballots are sent out approximately two weeks before an election and completed postal votes have to be received by the Returning Officer before 10pm on election day.

You need to consider if this timeline fits with your personal circumstances. We would advise you to consider applying for a proxy vote if you will be out of the country before your postal ballot is sent.

We cannot guarantee delivery of postal vote packs outside of the UK.

Downloading a postal vote application form

You can download a form, complete it and return it by post to us

Alternatively, you can scan and send it to us using our general enquiries form.

Contact us

Proxy voting

You can appoint someone to vote on your behalf at your usual polling station, but you have to provide a reason to vote by proxy for a single election. You can only vote by proxy on an indefinite basis for the following reasons: physical incapacity, overseas voter, studying at university and certain occupations such as armed forces.

You need to tell your proxy which candidate or candidates you wish to vote for.

If you change your mind and wish to vote in person, you can still do so, providing that your proxy has not already voted on your behalf.

Downloading a proxy vote application form

You can download a form, complete it and return it by post to us

Alternatively, you can scan and send it to us using our general enquiries form.

Contact us

Emergency proxy

In the case of medical emergencies, a proxy or postal vote may be applied for up to 5pm on polling day. This application must be attested by a medical professional.

You can also apply to vote by emergency proxy if your occupation, service or employment means that you cannot go to the polling station in person, and you only became aware of that fact after the proxy vote deadline.

Please note: to apply for a proxy or postal vote, you must already be registered to vote.

If you fall ill with COVID-19 or need to self-isolate at the last minute

If you are self-isolating or become unwell as a result of COVID-19 shortly before polling day, or on the day itself, you don't need to miss out on your vote. You will be able to apply for an emergency proxy vote - where someone you trust can vote on your behalf. Speak to the electoral registration team at your local council who will tell you what you need to do to arrange this.

Refreshing absent vote identifiers

Legislation requires the Electoral Registration Officer to conduct an annual review of every person who remains a postal ('absent') voter, and whose signature held on record is more than five years old. These will be sent a notice in writing requiring them to provide a fresh signature if they wish to retain their postal vote. The notice will require the elector to supply a specimen of their signature and if this is not received within six weeks of the date of the notice their absent voting facility will be cancelled.

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