How to vote in person

Voter ID

The UK Government has introduced a requirement for voters to show photo ID when voting at a polling station at some elections. 

Find out more about voters photo ID

A Poll card for each member of the household who is eligible to vote will be delivered before the election. The Poll card will tell you the date of the election, where your Polling Station is. Polling opening hours are between 7am and 10pm. You do not need to take your Poll card with you to be able to vote, but you will need your photo ID.

  • When you arrive at the Polling Station the Presiding Officer will ask you your name and address and will then issue you with a folded ballot paper. The polling station staff will make a note of your Voter Registration number on a list with your ballot paper number.
  • You need to show photo ID to vote. Staff will check that they are happy that it's acceptable. Find out more about voters photo ID.
  • The ballot paper will bear the names of the candidates.
  • You should go to the voting booth and put an ‘X’ in the square next to the name of the candidate(s) you wish to vote for.
  • Fold the ballot paper and put it in the ballot box.

Ask the Polling Station staff if you need any advice.

What to do if you can’t get to the polling station on Election Day

If you know in advance you won’t be able to get to the Polling Station on Election Day you can apply to vote by post or you can apply to vote by proxy (a proxy is someone who votes on your behalf). Email the electoral information team or phone the Elections office on 0300 123 5016 who will advise you further.

Why there is a number on the back of the ballot paper

All ballot papers are numbered on the back as a measure to prevent and detect fraud. However, all the ballot paper lists are sealed up after the count and cannot be opened without a court order so that the secrecy of the ballot is retained.

If you put a tick instead of a cross

Don’t worry, so long as it is clear that you intend to vote for a particular candidate your vote will be accepted

If you make a mistake on your ballot paper

You can either cross out the mark and vote for the candidate of your choice or you can ask the Polling Station staff for a replacement ballot paper in exchange for your spoilt ballot paper.

If you spoil a postal ballot paper you will have to come to the Elections Office to get a replacement ballot paper. For any queries relating to replacement postal ballot papers, email the electoral information team or phone the Elections office on 0300 123 5016 who will advise you further.

Page last reviewed: 01 March 2024