Elections: Ways to vote
To be eligible to vote your name must appear on the Register of Electors. If you are not registered to vote then you can apply online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. Further information about registering can be found here.
Most people choose to vote at their local polling station on election day, however there are other ways to cast your vote once you are registered.
Voting by Postal Vote
Apply for a postal vote
You can apply to vote by post for one of the following:
- a single election on a specific date
- a specific period
In order to apply to vote by post, you can download the application form from the documents section on this page. Once completed, you can scan the application and email it back to us as email@example.com. Alternatively, it can be returned to the address shown at the top of the form, or handed into either our Andover or Romsey office.
Please note that if you use an electronic signature to sign your postal application, at election time you will be required to sign the postal voting statement that will be sent with your ballot paper. This signature will be matched against the one provided on your application form and they must match. If they do not, your ballot paper will be rejected and therefore will not count.
Completing and returning your postal vote
When voting by post, you should:
- mark your vote on your ballot paper in secret
- fill in the postal voting statement
- put the ballot and statement in the envelope provided
- seal the envelope yourself
Post your ballot back as quickly as possible to make sure it’s counted.
If you’re too late to post your ballot paper
Take it to your local polling station by 10pm, or one of our offices before they close.
Voting by Proxy
If you’re unable to vote in person you can ask someone to vote on your behalf. This is called a proxy vote.
You can only apply for a proxy vote under certain circumstances, including:
- being away on polling day
- having a medical issue or disability
- not being able to vote in person because of work or military service
How to apply for a proxy vote
In order to apply to vote by proxy, you can download the application form from the documents section on this page. Once completed, you can scan the application and email it back to us as firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, it can be returned to the address shown at the top of the form, or handed into either our Andover or Romsey office.
Usually, you need to apply for a proxy vote at least 6 working days before election day if you want to vote.
How long your proxy vote is for
You can apply to vote by proxy:
- for a single election on a specific date
- for a specific period - although your application may need to be supported
- permanently - although your application may need to be supported
Who can act as a proxy
You can ask anyone to act as your proxy - as long as they:
- are registered to vote
- are allowed to vote in the type of election taking place
- can vote in the polling station stated on your poll card
If they cannot get to your polling station, they will need to contact us to arrange to cast their proxy vote by post.
Change or cancel your proxy vote
To change who acts as your proxy or to start voting in person, contact us on email@example.com.
Voting in person
You vote in person at a polling station (usually in a public building, such as a school or local hall).
Your poll card
You’ll be sent a poll card just before an election telling you when to vote and at which polling station. You can only vote at the polling station location on your card.
If you have not received a poll card but think you should, contact us on 01264 368000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can still vote if you’ve lost your card.
When you can vote
Polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm on the day of an election (‘polling day’).
When you get to the polling station
Give your name and address to the staff inside the polling station when you arrive.
You’ll be given a ballot paper containing a list of the people, parties or options you can vote for.
ID you need to bring
You do not need to bring any identification to vote.
You do not have to take your poll card with you.
Filling in your ballot paper
Follow the instructions on the notices in the polling booth and on the top of the ballot paper to vote.
Voting if you’re disabled
If you’re disabled, we can tell you about:
- physical access, for example, wheelchair ramps and disabled parking spaces
- low-level polling booths
- equipment for voters with a visual impairment
Every polling station must provide at least one large print display version of the ballot paper and a special tactile voting device (TVD) to help people with sight loss.
Easy Read and pocket guides are available to support voters for the May 2021 elections. The Electoral Commission worked in partnership with Mencap and the RNIB to produce these guides, which are available to download from the documents sidebar.