How to vote

To have your say in the 2 May elections, you need to be registered by Tuesday 16 April. If you're not already registered, please complete an online application form on the GOV.uk website

Voting in person

When you vote in person, you go the polling station allocated to your address Your polling station will be on your poll card, which you’ll receive through the post a few weeks before the election. Polling stations are open from 7am until 10pm.

For more information about voting in person, please visit the Electoral Commission’s website.

To be able to vote at a polling station, you will need to bring photo ID with you to vote in polling stations, this is a new requirement following changes to the law. If you don't have acceptable photo ID, you will not be able to vote.

If you don’t have photo ID, you will need to apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate. It’s quick and easy to apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate, applying takes around 5 minutes.

Your ID needs to be the original. It cannot be a photocopy, or pictures of ID on mobile phones.

Acceptable ID can be:

  • A passport.
  • A driving licence (including provisional licence).
  • Blue Badge.
  • Identity card with PASS mark (Proof of Age Standards Scheme).
  • Certain concessionary travel cards.
  • Biometric immigration document.
  • Defence identity card.
  • National identity card.

If you have one of these IDs, but it is out of date, you can still use it to vote at a polling station if it still looks like you.

Other forms of ID are acceptable. The Electoral Commission website contains a full list of accepted forms of photo ID and further information about the introduction of voter ID.

If you don't have one of the accepted forms of photo ID, you will be able to apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate (VAC) which will be accepted in polling stations, to apply please visit the Gov.uk website.

Postal voters will not be affected and will be issued with their postal ballot papers as usual. If you choose to vote by proxy then the person who will vote on your behalf will have to take their own photo ID to the polling station.

Apply for a postal vote

If you appear on the electoral register, you can apply to vote by post at any time, for a specific election or all elections. You must apply for a postal vote by 5pm, 11 working days before an election. Complete an application form online. You will need to prove your identity when applying.

If you are unable to apply online, you can download a paper application form from the Electoral Commission's website.

More information about voting by post is available from the Electoral Commission.

Apply for a proxy vote

If you appear on the electoral register, but are physically unable to vote in person, you can appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf. You can have a proxy vote for a particular election.

You must apply for a proxy vote by 5pm, six working days before an election. Complete an application form online. You will need to prove your identity when applying.

If you are unable to apply online, you can download a paper application form from the Electoral Commission's website.

If you want to apply for a proxy vote indefinitely, you must have the following reason(s):

  • You have a physical disability.
  • You are away from home on an education course.
  • You are away for work.
  • You are registered as an overseas elector.
  • You are working away as a crown servant.
  • You are serving in the Armed Forces.

Visit the Electoral Commission's website for more information or if you are unable to apply online.

Apply for a postal proxy vote

If you have appointed a proxy who wishes to vote by post please e-mail the Elections team or call 01883 722000.