Poll card

If you are eligible to vote at a polling station, you will be sent a poll card which will inform you of the date of the election, where your polling station is and the hours of poll.

Poll cards are normally delivered to all registered electors around three weeks before an election, usually before the deadline for applications for postal or proxy votes.

The poll card is for information only. Don't worry if you lose it or forget it - you can still vote without it, although it will help the staff at the polling station if you take it with you.

Voting at a polling station

There will be at least two members of staff in the polling station - a presiding officer and one or more assistants, known as poll clerks.

You will be asked by the staff for your name and address. If you have a poll card it will help the staff but you will still be asked to confirm your name and address. It does not matter if you have forgotten your poll card as you will still be able to vote if you are registered.

The staff will check that your name is listed in the electoral register. When your details have been verified, you will be given a ballot paper, which you should take to a polling booth. A mark will be made against the register to show that you have voted. You will not be able to vote again in the same election.

Polling booths are provided to allow you to cast your vote in secrecy. If you need help to mark your ballot paper, e.g. because you are blind, you can either ask the presiding officer to help you or you can take a companion to the polling station with you. You must inform the presiding officer if you wish to do this as he or she will need to make a record of the number of votes not marked by the elector - this is to protect against fraud. 

There will be a notice in the polling booth indicating how many candidates you can vote for. If you vote for more candidates than you are entitled to, your vote will not be counted.

After casting your vote, you should fold the ballot paper and place it in the ballot box, which will be situated next to the staff working at the polling station.