What are voting hubs?

Voting hubs would allow people across an electoral area to vote at a more central or easily accessible location (instead of their usual assigned polling station) on polling day. This option would not replace polling stations. Voters would turn up and cast their vote just as if they were voting at their typical polling station.

Potential benefitsPotential challenges
Improving accessibility and choice about when and where to voteFinding suitable venues to act as voting hubs 
Boosting levels of voter satisfaction in the voting processMaximising accessibility for voters in the relevant electoral area
Providing a wider range of facilities to make voting more accessible. For example, voters with hearing impairment or hearing loss could go to a voting hub which has a hearing loop, rather than being required to attend a smaller polling station which is closer to themStaffing voting hubs
Providing a ‘walk-in’ service for people who wouldn’t normally vote, particularly if voting hubs were located in areas of high footfall Ensuring the electoral registers are updated in real time on polling day so that any integrity risks are minimised
The number of voters attending ordinary polling stations may decrease, lowering the chance of queuing at them 

International experience

Data collected by the ACE Electoral Knowledge Network in 226 countries, suggests that in a range of countries voters 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 voting hubs 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 voting hubs. 

Further options

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


  • Eligibility to use voting hubs could be restricted to certain target groups – for example, those with specific accessibility needs, or who are unable to attend their normal polling station for another reason (for example, polling staff working in the voting hub or emergency workers). Restricting eligibility would likely reduce the cost effectiveness of voting hubs.


  • Voting hubs could be positioned in traditional locations, such as local council offices, libraries, schools or community centres, or at non-traditional locations – for example, shopping centres, leisure centres or transport hubs – or a combination of these types of venue.
  • Locations would need to be available on polling day, accessible, conveniently located, big enough to accommodate polling booths, ballot boxes and other voting equipment, as well as comfortable and safe.
  • Voting hub locations would need to serve heavily populated urban areas as well as rural locations. Distances that voters need to travel to use voting hubs, the availability of suitable premises, transport links and easy parking would also be key considerations.
  • The Returning Officer could be given the discretion to decide on the appropriate number of voting hubs based on their knowledge of the area. This would be to ensure reasonable and equal access to voting in person.

Days and hours of operation

  • Voting hubs could be open ahead of, as well as on, polling day, incorporating a form of advance voting into the voting hub model.

Find more information about what would be needed to deliver voting hubs