- To vote in an election you must first register to vote.
There are three different ways you can vote. How you vote is up to you. It may depend on what you find easiest or the most convenient method. 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 (someone voting on your behalf).
Mencap have put together an easy read guide (PDF, 2.9MB) about voting and registering to vote in the local elections, which explains everything from how to register to casting your ballot on the day.
Voting in person
Most people choose to cast their vote in person at a local polling station. Voting at a polling station is very straightforward and there is always a member of staff available to help if you're not sure what to do.
If you are on the electoral register, you will receive a poll card before the election telling you where and when to vote. The polling station is often a school or local hall near where you live. The poll card is for your information only, and you do not need to take it to the polling station in order to vote.
Voting by post
Voting by post is an easy and convenient way of voting if you are unable to get to the polling station. To vote by post, you need to be on the electoral register.
Voting by proxy
Voting by proxy is a convenient way of voting if you are unable to get to the polling station. By proxy just means that you appoint someone you trust to vote on your behalf.
Voting by proxy can be useful if you fall ill and are unable to get to the polling station on election day, or if you are abroad during an election. It can be particularly useful if you are overseas in a country too far away to send back a postal vote in time for the election (for instance, if you are in the Armed Forces and deployed overseas).
Last updated: 12 November 2019