In this section, you can find out about the different ways of casting your vote. In the UK, there are three different ways you can vote.
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 (where someone votes on your behalf).
How you vote is up to you.
Most people in the UK choose to cast their vote in person at a local polling station. Voting at a polling station is very straightforward. There will always be 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 - you do not need to take it to the polling station in order to vote.
How voting in person works
Voting by post is an easy and convenient way of voting if you are unable to get to the polling station.
For further information, you should contact Electoral Services on 01642 526196.
Once you are registered you need to fill in a postal vote application form.
Where do I send my form?
Your postal vote application should be sent to your local electoral registration office:
Democratic Services (Electoral Registration), Municipal Buildings, Church Road, Stockton-on-Tees, TS18 1LD.
Why do I need to sign my form?
You need to sign your application form personally because the electoral registration office needs a copy of your signature for voting security reasons. We know it's slightly less convenient than submitting it online, but it helps to ensure the security of your vote and is used to tackle electoral fraud.
Who can apply for a postal vote?
Anyone who is individually registered can apply for a postal vote. You do not need a reason to vote by post.
Where can I get my postal vote sent?
A postal vote can be set to your home address or any other address that you give.
Postal votes can be sent overseas, but you need to consider whether there will be enough time to receive and return your ballot paper by election day.
When will I receive my ballot papers?
Postal ballots can only be sent out once the deadline to become a candidate has passed and the ballot papers have subsequently been produced and printed. Contact your local electoral registration office for further information on when your postal ballot papers will be issued.
Once you've got it, mark your vote on the ballot paper and make sure you send it back so that it arrives by 10pm on the day of the election or referendum. If it arrives later than this, your vote won't be counted.
When you get your postal voting papers
When you want to vote
When you return your postal vote
Remember that this is your vote - so keep it to yourself!
If anyone tries to help you against your will, or force you to give them your postal vote, you should contact the police.
If you have any other queries, ring your local electoral registration office - you can get their contact details on this site by entering your postcode.
Voting by proxy is a convenient way of voting if you are unable to get to the polling station. Voting by proxy means that you appoint someone you trust to vote on your behalf.
Voting by proxy can be useful if you can't get to the polling station on election day, for example if you fall ill or you are abroad.
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 deployed overseas in the Armed Forces).
Applying to vote by proxy
In England, Scotland and Wales only electors who are (or will be) registered individually are entitled to apply to vote by proxy.
In addition, the person you wish to appoint as your proxy can only act as proxy if they are (or will be) registered individually.
For further information, you should contact your local electoral registration office on 01642 526196.
Once you are registered individually, you'll need to fill in a proxy vote application form.
You can appoint a proxy for a particular election (such as local council elections) or for a definite or indefinite period of time (depending on the reason for the application, this form will need to be attested). Both forms can be found at the links below.