Last Modified April 05, 2022
You must be registered to vote before you can vote in UK elections or referendums. There are different ways to vote; in person at a polling station, by post or by nominating someone to vote on your behalf by proxy.
At a polling station
Each member of your household who is eligible to vote (and has registered to do so) should receive a poll card which will tell you when the election is, where your polling station is and the hours it is open. You do not need to take the poll card with you to be able to vote.
Polling stations - the places where you go to vote - are open on the day of the election from 7am until 10pm.
Not sure where your polling station is? Use the Polling station lookup tool to check.
What do I do at the polling station?
- on arrival at your designated polling station, an official member of staff will ask you to confirm your name and address and will issue you with a ballot paper.
- the ballot paper will be marked with an official stamp or watermark and contains details of the candidates who are standing for election.
- you should take the ballot paper to the voting booth and mark an X against the name of the candidate you wish to vote for.
- fold the ballot paper and put it in the ballot box.
What if I am unable to get to the polling station on election day?
If you know in advance you will be unable to go to your polling station on election day, you can apply to vote by post or by proxy.
Voting by post
More and more people are finding it convenient to vote by post. If you choose to have a postal vote, you will not receive a poll card but instead receive information in the post with details of candidates and a voting paper to return. You must apply in advance to vote by post. Our guidance notes may help you.
Voting by proxy
If you are unable to go to your polling station on election day you can register for a proxy vote, whereby someone you have given authority to can go and vote on the day on your behalf. To find out how to qualify for a permanent proxy vote or to download an application form for a specific election please visit the electoral commission's proxy voting page.
You need to apply in advance for a proxy vote. Your application will need to be with us six working days before an election.
If after this deadline you have a medical emergency or have to travel for work reasons that you were not aware of, please contact the elections office on 02082 077 481 or at email@example.com, to arrange an emergency proxy. Alternatively you can download the emergency proxy forms from this page. The forms will still need to be returned to the elections office before you are issued with an emergency proxy.