How to vote in Elections

Currently the law allows you to vote in three ways. First, by voting in person at your local polling station, secondly by organising a postal vote so a ballot paper is sent to you before polling day, or thirdly you can appoint a proxy, someone to vote for you on your behalf.

  • Voting in person at a Polling Station 

    If you are on the Register of Electors you will receive a poll card a few weeks before the elections. This will tell you how, where and when to vote. This card is for information only so don't worry if you lose it or forget it - you can still vote without the poll card but it is easier if you have it with you.

    You will be assigned to a polling station in your area, for example at a school or village hall. On the day of the election you should go to the polling station during the times it is open - 7am to 10pm for all elections. Here you will be given a ballot paper which is pre-printed with an official mark. The ballot paper will say how many candidates you can vote for (in some local elections you may have more than one vote). Take the ballot paper to one of the polling booths and put a cross in the box next to the name of the candidate(s) you want to support. Do not write anything else on the ballot paper, otherwise your vote might not count. Once you have voted you must fold the ballot paper to hide your vote, show your folded ballot paper to the clerk before you put it in the locked ballot box. You don't have to tell anyone who you voted for.

  • Voting by Post or Proxy

    If you know you will not be able to get to the polling station on election day, you can apply to vote by post or proxy vote. You can find more information on this in the Absent vote section on this website.

  • Candidates

    The list of candidates nominated for an election is normally available approximately one month before the election. The list will normally be published on the Elections page under the relevant election.

  • Registering to Vote

    To be entitled to vote, your name must be on the Register of Electors. Refer to the section on the Electoral Register for further information.