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How to vote in person

Before an election, the council will send you a polling card. This card will tell you when voting day is and where you can go to vote in person.

You can vote in person at a place called a polling station on the day of the election.

Polling is another word for voting.

Polling stations are community buildings, such as a local hall, school, or church.

Your polling station will be close to where you live.

You can usually vote from early in the morning until 10pm at night on voting day.

You can ask someone you trust to help you at the polling station.

This person must be registered to vote in the same election you are voting in.

This person can help you to fill in your ballot paper.

But you must tell the polling station staff.

You can also ask the polling station staff for help.

When you get to the polling station

There will be signs to show you that you are at the polling station.

There might be a queue.

When you arrive at the polling station there might be somebody stood outside.

They might ask you for your name and/or address.

This is so they can see how many people voted.

They are not polling station staff and you don’t have to give them any information if you don’t want to.

Inside the polling station

When you get to the polling station you will be asked for your voting card.

They might call this your polling card.

It is ok if you don’t have this, you don’t need it.

The polling station staff will ask you to confirm your address. This is to make sure you are registered to vote.

They will also ask you to show your ID. This is new, so if you have voted before you won’t have had to do it.

Visit this My Vote My Voice webpage to find out more about making sure you have the right ID to vote in person.

When they have confirmed who you are the polling station staff will give you a ballot paper.

This is what you will use to cast your vote.

Casting your vote

When you have your ballot paper you will go to one of the polling booths.

These are tall tables with privacy screens around them.

The polling booth is a private area where you can vote.

You can take time to think about who to vote for.

Try to do this quietly.

There are instructions to follow on the ballot paper.

Using the pencil provided, put a cross or tick next to the person you want to vote for.

You might need to vote for more than one person.

This will be on the instructions on the ballot paper.

You can ask a member of the polling station staff for help.

Don’t put any other marks on the ballot paper.

If you need a new ballot paper, ask the polling station staff.

When you have completed the ballot paper, fold it in half.

Walk over to the big box and post it in. This is the ballot box.

The ballot box is a locked box where all votes are kept safe.

Don’t talk about who you voted for in the polling station, wait until you are away from it.

Getting help at a polling station

You can ask the polling station staff for help or to show you what to do.

You don’t have to tell them you have a learning disability and/or autism but it might help.

Your learning disability and/or autism does not affect your legal right to vote.

Download this voting passport and complete it to help you explain this at the polling station.

Preparing to vote in person links and resources

It is important to think about who you want to vote for and what you will do to vote before voting day.

Visit this My Vote My Voice webpage to find out why voting is important and what happens when you vote.

Download this Voting Passport which clearly shows how you would like to be supported and your legal rights to vote.

Next: How to vote by post