Most people in the UK choose to cast their vote in person at a local polling station. Voting at a polling station is very straightforward and there is always a member of staff available to help if you’re not sure what to do.
If you are on the electoral register you will receive a poll card before the election telling you where and when to vote.
The polling station is often a school or local hall near where you live. The poll card is for your information only, and you do not need to take it to the polling station in order to vote.
The following five steps explain how to vote at your polling station on election day:
- On election day, go to your local polling station. Polling station opening hours are 7am - 10pm. You can also ask to have a companion with you when you vote, or staff in the polling station may be able to help you.
- Tell the staff inside the polling station your name and address so they can check that you are on the electoral register. You can show them your poll card, but you do not need it to vote. Even if you take your poll card you will still need to confirm your name and address to the staff.
- The staff at the polling station will give you a ballot paper listing the parties and candidates you can vote for. You may be given more than one ballot paper if there is more than one election on the same day. If you have a visual impairment, you can ask for a special voting device that allows you to vote on your own in secret.
- Take your ballot paper into a polling booth so that no one can see how you vote. Read the ballot paper carefully; it will tell you how to cast your vote. Do not write anything else on the paper or your vote may not be counted.
- Finally, when you have marked your vote, fold the ballot paper in half and put it in the ballot box. Do not let anyone see your vote. If you are not clear on what to do, ask the staff at the polling station to help you.
If you have never voted at a polling station before, or are unsure how to do it, just ask at the polling station and the staff will be happy to help