5 things you need to know about voting in the UK general election

By Emma Hartley, Head of Campaigns, Electoral Commission

According to our research, 21% of eligible voters didn’t vote in the 2015 UK general election because they ran out of time*.

That’s why we need your help to ensure voters can have their say tomorrow. Share these facts to spread the word. 

1. Find out where you go to vote

Your polling station location is on your poll card. You don’t need to bring your poll card when you go to vote though they are helpful as they can save time at the polling station, especially if you are voting on someone else’s behalf.

If you’ve misplaced your poll card, don’t worry! You can find out where you go to vote or who to contact to find out by entering your postcode on our website.

If you’re in Northern Ireland, go to the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland’s website to find out where to go to vote.

2. ‘X’ marks the spot

In this election you simply put one ‘X’ next to the candidate you wish to vote for on your ballot paper. You can use the provided pencil or your own pen to mark your ballot paper.

If you aren’t sure who is standing for election in your area, you can find the candidates by entering your postcode on our website.

How do I fill in my ballot paper

3. Assistance available at polling stations

Assistance is available for anyone who requires it at the polling station. If you are a first-time voter, the polling station staff will be happy to help answer any questions you have.

If you are disabled, you can ask the Presiding Officer to help mark your ballot paper for you. You can also ask someone else you know to help you.

If you have a visual impairment, you can ask to see a large print ballot paper. You can also ask for a special voting device that allows you to vote on your own in secret.

Assistance at polling stations

4. Bring photo ID in Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland you must bring along a correct form of photo ID when you go to your polling station. Without it you won’t be able to vote.

Find out what is an accepted form of photo ID on our website.

In England, Wales and Scotland, you don’t need to bring photo ID.

5. Don’t run out of time

Polling stations are open from 7am until 10pm tomorrow. Don’t leave it too late and be one of the 21% from the last UK general election who didn’t vote because they ran out of time.

If you are in a queue at your polling station at 10pm you will be allowed to vote.

Parents are allowed to bring children with them when they go to vote at the polling station.

In England, Wales and Scotland, if you haven’t already sent back your postal ballot paper, you can hand it in at a polling station in your area tomorrow before 10pm.

You can read more about voting in the UK general election on our website.

Read this blog and now want to help your friends and family cast their vote with confidence tomorrow? Share our voter fact series on Facebook and Twitter to spread the word. 

*May 2015 post-election public opinion survey, Electoral Commission

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This entry was posted in #yourvotematters, Campaigns, Elections, Electoral Commission, voting. Bookmark the permalink.

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