With the General Election just a few weeks away and the candidates’ campaigns starting to hot up, you might be wondering how you can vote on May 7th… So here’s how you do it!
To vote in the General Election you need to be 18 or over on May 7th and a British citizen, Commonwealth citizen or a citizen of the Irish Republic.
The first thing you need to do is register. If you go online here and complete your registration, your name and address will appear on the electoral register meaning you can now vote. You can register to vote in two constituencies if you’re unsure as to where you’ll be on May 7th. However you can only vote in one of those constituencies!
Next, you vote! There are 650 constituencies in the UK and you vote for one of the candidates standing in your area to represent you in the House of Commons. Most of these candidates stand for a national party – so in a sense you’re not only voting for that candidate but also their party.
Polling station voting
But where do you vote? Well, just before the election your local council will send you a poll card telling you where your local polling station is. The polling stations are open between 7am and 10pm on May 7th and you can go anytime in the day to vote. When you get there, just give your name and address to the staff at the polling station and you will be given a ballot paper that has a list of things, such as people and parties that you can vote for.
Then it’s simple, you go into a polling booth, follow the instructions on the ballot paper and in the booth, fill out the polling card and put it in the ballot box.
But what if you are abroad on May 7th, live away from your registered constituency (perhaps at university), or just don’t want to go to the polling station? Then you can apply for a postal vote!
Apply here, you don’t even have to give a reason. You just fill out the ballot paper and post it back to get your vote counted.
Voting by proxy
The final way you can vote is if you’re abroad on election day, have a medical issue or disability or you’re not able to vote in person because of work or military service, you can have someone vote on your behalf. This is called voting by proxy and this time you have to give a reason for why you want to use this voting method. Apply for a proxy vote here.
So those are the three ways you can vote on election day! If you need more information on how to vote go to https://www.gov.uk/voting-in-the-uk/overview to find out more.