The Electoral Commission

The independent body which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the UK

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How to vote

On this page you can find information about how to vote, poll cards and polling stations, and information for disabled voters.

In the UK, there are three different ways you can vote:

  • In person at a polling station
  • By post
  • By proxy (someone voting on your behalf)

How you vote is up to you. It may depend on what you find easiest or most convenient. Most people vote in person at a polling station. However, if you are not able to go to the polling station in person on election day, you can apply to vote by post or by proxy.

Find out more about the ways of voting, or how to apply for a postal or proxy vote on Your Vote Matters

Different elections in the UK use different voting systems.

Find out about the systems used in each election

Poll cards and polling stations

If you’re registered to vote you will receive a poll card before the election telling you when to vote and where your polling station is.

In most elections, you can still vote even if you do not have a poll card, as long as you are on the electoral register.

At some elections on Thursday 3 May, you should take your poll card with you.

If you are voting in Watford or Swindon on Thursday 3 May, you will need to take your poll card with you. This will be the quickest and most convenient way of confirming your identity.

If you are voting in Bromley, you can use your poll card as a form of ID in conjunction with another form of non-photo ID. Read more on the ID requirements in Bromley.

If you forget or lose your poll card, your local authority can tell you where your polling station is. You can find their contact details by entering your postcode on Your Vote Matters.

Local authorities must review the areas or buildings that polling stations are in every five years. Certain people can appeal these reviews by contacting us.

Read more about how to appeal

Easy read guide to voting

This guide explains how to register to vote as well as the different types of voting. It also has key dates for the elections in May.

Read the easy read guide to voting at the May 2018 elections (PDF)

It was produced with Mencap, the charity for people with a learning disability.

Information for disabled voters

All voters have a right to vote independently and in secret. Local authorities in Great Britain now have to take proactive steps to ensure that polling stations don't disadvantage disabled people. Similar arrangements apply in Northern Ireland, but they are the responsibility of the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland.

Read our report on the experience of disabled voters at the 2017 general election

Read more about disabled people's voting rights (PDF)