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How to vote

Hand posting a polling card into a vote box

No vote no voice!

In order for you to vote at an election your name must first appear on the Register of Electors. 

Apply to register to vote

Please note: If you are a British, Irish or Commonwealth citizen you can vote at all elections and referendums held in the UK.

Three ways to vote

The three ways in which you can vote are below but you must be registered under GOV.UK - Individual Electoral Registration.

Vote in person

If you have chosen to vote in person, before an election you will be sent your poll card which will inform you of the address of your polling station.

The polling card will have on your elector number, name and address, the date of the election and the hours the polling stations are open, which is 7am until 10pm. 

If anyone in your household is on the register of electors and has not received a poll card please contact us immediately.

You don't need to take your poll card with you to vote. If you lose it or forget to take it you will still be able to vote, you will just be asked to confirm your name and address.

On election day, you will need to show photo ID to the polling station staff. More information can be found on Voter ID.

You will then be given a ballot paper to complete. You may be given two ballot papers if your area is having a parish election.

In the privacy of the voting booth mark an 'X' next to the candidate(s) you want to vote for.

Once you have put your mark(s) on the paper you should fold it in half and place it in the ballot box.

The Elections Act 2022 has introduced changes to assist voters with disabilities at polling stations. More information can be found on our accessible voting page.

Vote by post

Anyone can vote by post but you must email us at or call us on 01772 906908 and request an application form, if you want to vote by post. 

Once the application form has been completed you will be added to the list of postal voters and will receive a letter of confirmation.

You can apply for a postal vote for an indefinite or temporary period and you can also specify which elections you would like a postal vote for.

Please note that if you change your address you will have to re-register at your new address and apply for a postal vote at your new address.

Before the election you will be sent a polling card advising you of your postal voting arrangement and the dates you should expect the delivery of your ballot paper postal pack to arrive.

How to complete your postal vote at election time

When your ballot paper postal pack arrives it will contain your ballot paper, a brown ballot paper envelope, a postal voting statement and a white return envelope.

Once you have marked your ballot paper in secret and sealed up in the brown envelope you must complete the security statement by entering your date of birth and signature on the statement.

Both the security statement and brown envelope containing your ballot paper should be placed inside the white return envelope ensuring the address is showing through the envelope window.

You then need to seal the envelope and post it back.

Please ensure that the statement is completed with your signature and date of birth as failure to do this will make your vote invalid.

An  Easy Read Guide to Postal Voting (PDF) [230KB]  is available here which explains how to vote by post.

Vote by proxy

A proxy vote means you can nominate someone to vote on your behalf if you can't get to a polling station.

The person you appoint as proxy needs to be on the electoral register. They also need to go to your polling station to vote for you (unless they request a postal proxy vote).

You can choose to vote by proxy for a definite or indefinite period of time, however you must have a reason for applying to vote by proxy such:

  • Registered blind
  • Have a physical disability
  • Away from home because of your job or a course
  • Registered as a service voter (armed forces only)

On the application form you must state why you cannot attend your polling station in person and who you wish to appoint as your proxy.

If you wish to apply for an indefinite proxy you will need to get someone to attest your form such as your employer, lecturer or medical professional.

Once you have completed an application form your details will be entered on a list of proxy voters and an acknowledgement letter will be sent to you and your proxy.

If you are going away on holiday or you will not be at home on election day, you can appoint a proxy for that particular election, this does not need to be attested but you must give a reason.

If you are suddenly taken ill you can apply for an emergency proxy vote up until 5pm on polling day, again this will have to be attested by a medical professional.

The person who you have appointed to be your proxy will be sent a letter which they need to take to your polling station.

Your proxy will then be issued with your ballot paper(s) which they mark in secret in a polling booth.

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