What is vote anywhere?

Vote anywhere would give people the option of voting at any polling station within a local electoral division or constituency. This would be available only on polling day. More complex variations of vote anywhere - for example, allowing people to vote from any location within wider geographical areas - would require more fundamental reforms, such as electronic voting or print on demand ballot papers.

Potential benefitsPotential challenges
Providing more convenience to voters, particularly those who may be travelling on polling day (for example, for work or holiday)More sophisticated forms of vote anywhere would probably require ballot papers to be printed on demand, providing a logistical challenge
Improving accessibility and choice about where to voteEnsuring the polling station registers are updated in real time on polling day 
Boosting levels of voter satisfaction in the voting processEnsuring the secure storage of votes and secure and timely transportation of ballot boxes to correct count centres
Voters could vote at a polling station in their local area which may better meet their individual needs 
Patterns may emerge which could help Returning Officers identify more efficient distribution of polling stations  

International experience

Data collected by the ACE project in 226 countries, suggests that in a range of countries people can choose where to vote - either at any polling station in the same voting district (21) or any polling station in the same country (15).

Basic model

We looked at how vote anywhere could work at a basic level for elections in the UK. We have set out the main features of a model that we think would be needed if a government within the UK decided to implement vote anywhere. 

Further options

We also looked at some other options that could be added to the basic model.


  • Registered voters could be allowed to vote at a polling station outside the area in which they were registered – for example, outside their home constituency or local authority area. However, this would be complicated as it would require, cross-boundary electronic registers updating in real time to prevent people from being able to vote multiple times. 
  • More expansive models would present the challenge of making available all the different types of ballot paper in vote anywhere locations. This would likely prove impossible without printing ballot papers on demand or electronic voting. 
  • There would be the logistical challenge of ensuring that ballot papers were delivered to the correct count centres within the relevant timeframe (within four hours of the close of poll for a UK parliamentary election). This would not be feasible for all locations.


  • Even with joined-up, electronic registers it may be more feasible to offer vote anywhere from a more limited number of locations within an electoral area – for example, within voting hubs.

Find more information about what would be needed to deliver vote anywhere