The electoral register
How to vote
If you are on the electoral register you will be sent a poll card just before an election. You can vote:
- In person
- By post
- By proxy
Voting in person
White poll cards are issued to electors who vote in person at a polling station, and this card will state where your polling station is and when you can vote. On the day of the election you should go to your designated polling station between 7am and 10pm to cast your vote. Tell the staff inside the polling station your name and address so that they can check you are on the register and eligible to vote. It is helpful to bring along your poll card but it is not essential if you don’t bring it along.
Voting by post or proxy
A postal vote can be sent to your home address or any other address specified by you, including overseas. You will need to consider if there would be time for you to receive and return your ballot papers by polling day. If you have been sent a postal vote, you cannot vote in person at a polling station.
You must provide your personal signature and date of birth to make sure your vote is secure. Special arrangements are in place if you're unable to provide a signature. Please contact us for further details. If you have chosen to vote by post you will receive a purple poll card.
You can also arrange to vote by proxy, meaning another person is authorised to vote on your behalf. A signature and date of birth are also required for proxy voters.
Depending on the reason you wish to apply to vote by proxy, application forms for the following can be found in the full list of application forms at the bottom of this page:
- Vote by proxy - application to register for a service voter (HM Forces)
- Vote by proxy - application to vote by proxy for a British citizen living overseas
- Vote by proxy - application to vote by proxy for a crown servant or British Council employee
- Vote by proxy - application to vote by proxy based on disability (definite or indefinite period)
- Vote by proxy - application to vote by proxy due to attendance on an educational course (definite or indefinite period)
- Vote by proxy - application to vote by proxy due to employment (definite or indefinite period)
- Vote by proxy - application by a proxy to vote by post
- Vote by emergency proxy - application to vote by emergency proxy based on disability
- Vote by emergency proxy - application to vote by emergency proxy based on occupation, service or employment
The Electoral Commission has information in other formats, including large print, Braille and easy read.
Further details can be obtained by contacting the Electoral Registration Officer.