To be able to vote you must be registered on the Electoral Register.
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.
- For Local Elections, Parliamentary and European Elections the hours of poll are 7.00am to 10.00pm
- 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 you wish to vote for.
- Fold the ballot paper and deposit it in the ballot box.
You can apply for a postal vote at any time. A simple application form (pdf 109kb) is all you need to complete and then return it to the Elections Office.
The date the Postal Votes are dispatched varies from election to election and if you are applying for a Postal Vote because you are going away, we strongly advise you to contact the office to clarify dates.
When a postal vote has been posted to you, you cannot vote in person at a polling station.
You can choose on the application form to vote at a one-off election or vote by post on a permanent basis.
If you move house you must notify the Elections Office as soon as possible or you won’t receive your postal vote at your new address.
Remember to apply for your postal vote as soon as you can. If there is an election during any year there will be a deadline date for new applications, this is normally 11 working days before an election. This deadline date will also apply to changes / cancellation of / amended or redirected postal vote papers.
You must be able to sign your name to vote by post. If you are unable to sign you need to request a Postal Vote Waiver application. Power of attorney does not apply to postal voting.
In a bid to combat fraud, all postal votes will now be subject to signature checking. When you make an application to vote by post you will be asked to provide a specimen signature and your date of birth. This information will be required on a security statement on all returned ballot papers, and will be checked against our records.
If you will be away from home and will not be able vote in person or be able to receive your postal ballot paper you may prefer to appoint someone on your behalf (proxy vote application form). This person does not need to be a relative, just someone you know and trust. That person will receive a letter to hand into your polling station and that will enable them to vote on your behalf.
Please note a proxy cannot vote for more than two people at any one election, unless they are a close relative and they must be eligible to vote in that type of election.
The deadline to apply to vote by proxy is normally 6 working days before an election.
If you have a medical emergency 6 or less working days before an election you can apply to vote by emergency proxy if the emergency means that you cannot go to the polling station in person.
British Citizens living overseas
If you are a British citizen living abroad, you can apply to be an overseas voter. As long as you were registered to vote in the UK within the last 15 years, you can register to vote from overseas. If you were too young to register when you left the UK, your parent or guardian must have been registered.