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Voting in person

The contents of this page cover the process of voting in person at a polling station. It details what you need to do, what you can expect and what will happen.

Poll cards

As long as you are on the electoral register at the time of a vote, you will receive a Poll Card before the election giving you information on where and when you can vote. The polling station is normally a nearby school or local hall.

Voting on election day

On election day, you'll need to go the polling station you have been allocated to. They are normally open between 7am and 10pm on election day. Assistance can sometimes be provided by the local electoral registration office if you need help getting there. You can also take somebody with you or ask the polling station staff for help.

When you arrive, the polling station staff will ask for your name and address so they can check you are on the electoral register. Showing them your polling card can help with this, but you don't need to take it with you.

The staff will give you a ballot paper which tells you the names of the candidates and the parties they belong to. If there is more than one election at a time, you may be given more than one ballot paper. If you have a visual impairment you can ask for a special voting device that allows you to vote on your own in privacy.

With your ballot paper(s), go into a polling both so that no one can see how you vote. Make sure you read the ballot paper carefully, as it will tell you how to vote. If you write something else on the ballot paper(s), your vote may not be counted.

When you've marked on the ballot paper who you're voting for, you should fold the ballot paper in half and place it in the ballot box. Do not let anyone else see your vote.

If at any point you're unsure on what you need to do, just ask a member of the polling staff and they'll be able to answer your questions.

Voting rights for EU Nationals

If you are a citizen of one of the European Union (EU) countries listed below, you can register (for the area in which you live) to vote in the UK at a European Parliamentary election, which is held every five years. You can also register to vote for your local council election.

Citizens of EU countries other than the UK, Cyprus, Malta, and the Republic of Ireland cannot vote in the UK parliamentary elections.

To be eligible to register you must:

  • be a national of one of the member states of the European Union, and
  • you must also be 18 years of age or over, or become 18 by election day.

European Union countries, excluding the UK, Republic of Ireland, Malta and Cyprus, as their citizens are eligible to vote at all elections:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden.

Register for local council elections

To register to vote at local council elections, you should visit GOV.UK to register to vote.

Visit the postal and proxy voting page for further information about other ways to vote. Find more information about your vote on the Electoral Commission website.