Can I vote without a polling card? How to vote
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A plethora of local elections are taking place this week after being postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Voters will be casting their votes in local, Scottish Parliament, Welsh Parliament, Police and Crime Commissioners, a single by-election and London mayoral elections. As such, polling cards, voting and candidate information have been sent out across the UK.
In order to vote in any elections in the UK, you need to be registered to vote, however, the time has passed for anyone to register before Thursday’s ballots.
Anyone aged 16 or over (14 or over in Scotland and Wales) can register to vote, and then be 18 or over to cast your vote.
In Scotland, some elections allow voting for over 16-year-olds.
Those aged 16-years-old can vote in Welsh Parliament elections (and other elections when you’re 18).
Read More: Damning poll predicts nightmare election scenario for SNP
So what are the rules for voting, can you vote without a polling card?
Everyone registered to vote should have received a polling card through the post, detailing their closest polling station, date of the election and which elections are taking place in your area.
You do not need to take this polling card with you to vote, instead, you can give your name and address to the polling attendants when you arrive.
You don’t need to bring ID to vote if you are voting in England, Scotland or Wales, but Northern Ireland voters do need a photo ID.
This can be a passport or driving license.
Polling stations will be open from 7am BST to 10pm BST across the UK.
You need to go to the polling station assigned to you, as you will not be eligible to vote at any other polling station.
To find out which polling station you should go to, pop your postcode in the tool below.
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How to vote
Voting on Thursday will depend on which elections are taking place in your area, with several choices to be made.
Votes this week are taking place for 143 English local councils, 129 Members of the Scottish Parliament, 60 Members of the Welsh Senedd, 39 Police and Crime Commissioners, 25 London Assembly seats and 13 directly-elected mayors
There are several methods for voting, you can do so in person at the polling station, vote by post or vote by proxy.
Voting in person requires you to visit the polling station between 7am and 10pm, cast your vote on the designated ballot paper and popping it in the ballot box.
The ballot paper contains a list of the people, parties or options you can vote for.
Voting by post must be applied for before the election date, and so you must have already done so to vote by post in the May 6 elections.
You will be sent your ballot paper to your designated address, and then you must
When voting by post, you should:
- mark your vote on your ballot paper in secret
- fill in the postal voting statement
- put the ballot and statement in the envelope provided
- seal the envelope yourself
Postal ballots must be posted as quickly as possible to ensure they are counted, however, if you have missed the post don’t fret.
You can take your completed documents and give them to your local polling station by 10pm on election day, or Electoral Registration Office before they close.
Voting by proxy is when someone who cannot vote themselves nominates someone to vote on their behalf.
You can only apply for a proxy vote under certain circumstances, including:
- being away on polling day
- having a medical issue or disability
- not being able to vote in person because of work or military service
Again you need to register to vote by proxy at least six days before the elections, so you cannot apply to do so now.
If the proxy vote deadline has passed you may be able to apply for an emergency proxy vote if you both:
- cannot vote in person because of your employment or a disability
- became aware of this reason after the proxy deadline
You can apply until 5pm on the day of the election. Fill in a paper form to:
- apply to vote by emergency proxy based on your employment
- apply to vote by emergency proxy based on your disability
To apply to vote by proxy in Northern Ireland you need to sign up at least 14 working days before election day.
You can ask anyone to act as your proxy – as long as they:
- are registered to vote
- are allowed to vote in the type of election taking place
- can vote in the polling station stated on your poll card
Your proxy voter will attend the polling station and vote on your behalf, with you telling them how you wish to cast your vote.
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