How to vote

May 2020 scheduled elections

The Government have announced they plan to postpone the election in May until 2021. We will update this information once the postponement has become law.

Local by-elections

All local by-elections have also been postponed.

Registering to vote

Register to vote to get on the electoral register, or to change your details. It usually takes about 5 minutes.

Register to vote

Find out more information on registering to vote 

Vote at the polling station

If you choose to vote at the polling station, when there is an election you will receive a polling card which will tell you where your polling station is located.

You can also find your polling station on the where do I vote map 

Bring your polling card with you. It will help staff to find your name. If you have lost your card or have not received it, you can still vote without it. You do not need to bring any identification with you.

When you arrive at the polling station, the election staff will mark your name on the electoral register and give you one or more ballot papers. You go into a polling booth to mark the ballot papers and then put them into the ballot box.

Polling stations open at 7am and close at 10pm. Be aware that there can be queues from 9pm so make sure you leave plenty of time. If you are in the queue at 10pm you will still be able to vote.

Postal vote

You can vote by post instead of going to your local polling station. You do not have to give us a reason why you wish to vote by post. But if you ask for ballot papers to be sent to an address which is not the one you are registered at, you will have to give us a reason for the change.

You can apply for a po​stal vote at any time of the year (you do not have to wait until an election is about to happen).

Apply for a postal vote​

Your ballot papers will be sent out to you about 11 days before polling day. You then return your marked papers in the sealed, prepaid envelope provided. Your ballot papers must reach the returning officer before 10pm on polling day for your vote to be counted.

Security

The signature and date of birth on the postal vote statement that you return with your ballot papers are checked against the signature and date of birth on your postal vote application.

Once you have had a postal vote for five years, you will be sent a form requesting a new copy of your signature. This is required by law, as signatures can change over time.

You can download and print postal vote application forms from the Electoral Commission website.

Send your application form to:

Electoral Services
Room 38
Newham Town Hall
Barking Road
London
E6 2RP

Proxy vote (someone to vote on your behalf)

If you are unable to get to the polling station on polling day you may appoint another person to vote on your behalf (a proxy).

You can apply for a proxy vote at any time of the year (you do not have to wait until an election is about to happen). You must return the application form to us at least six working days before an election.

Apply for a proxy vote​

Permanent proxy vote

You must give a reason for applying for a permanent proxy vote and your application must be supported by someone who can verify your reasons, such as your GP or employer.

Temporary proxy vote

If you are applying for temporary proxy vote, you will not have to get someone to support your application but you must provide a reason why you will not be able to go to the polling station on election day.

Emergency proxy vote

If you have a medical emergency that prevents you getting to a polling station and it is six days or less before an election, you can apply for an emergency proxy vote. Your application must be supported by a medical professional.

You can download and print proxy vote application forms from the Electoral Commission

Send your application form to:

Electoral Services
Room 38
Newham Town Hall
Barking Road
London
E6 2RP