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electoralcommission.org.uk How to vote : The Electoral Commission England/Scotland/Wales

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Organisation : The Electoral Commission
Facility : How to vote
Country : United Kingdom

How to vote : http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/voter/how-to-vote
Home Page : http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/

How to vote :
On this page you can find information about how to vote, poll cards and polling stations, and information for disabled voters.
In order to vote in the UK you must be on the electoral register

In the UK, there are three different ways you can vote:
** In person at a polling station
** By post
** By proxy (someone voting on your behalf)

How you vote is up to you. It may depend on what you find easiest or most convenient. 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.

If you want to vote by post at the 2015 UK general election, you must submit a postal vote application form to your local authority by 5pm on Tuesday 21 April.

If you want to vote by proxy at the 2015 UK general election, you must submit a proxy vote application form to your local authority by 5pm on Tuesday 28 April.

Poll cards and polling stations :
If you’re registered to vote you will receive a poll card before the election telling you when to vote and where your polling station is. If you forget or lose your poll card, you can still vote – your local authority can tell you where your polling station is.

Information for disabled voters :
All voters have a right to vote independently and in secret. Local authorities in Great Britain now have to take proactive steps to ensure that polling stations don’t disadvantage disabled people. Similar arrangements apply in Northern Ireland, but they are the responsibility of the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland.

Mencap :
This resource pack should help people with a learning disability to understand voting and politics. This pack helps people with a learning disability** (PWLD) and their support workers to understand what voting is, why it is so important, and how you can vote.

Reviews of polling districts and places :
Local authorities in Great Britain must designate and review UK Parliamentary polling districts and polling places. There is a right for some persons and bodies to appeal against reviews of polling districts and places to the Electoral Commission but only on certain grounds.

In Northern Ireland the polling districts are designated and reviewed by the Secretary of State. There is no right of appeal to the Commission in respect of polling districts in Northern Ireland. The polling place for each polling district is designated and reviewed by the Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland. There is a right for some persons and bodies to appeal against reviews of polling places in Northern Ireland to the Electoral Commission but only on certain grounds.

What is a polling district? :
A polling district is a geographical area created by the division of a constituency into smaller parts.

What is a polling place? :
A polling place is the building or area in which polling stations will be selected by the Returning Officer.

Grounds of appeal :
An appeal can only be made on the grounds that the review did not:
** meet the reasonable requirements of electors in the constituency
** take sufficient account of disabled access to polling stations

Right to appeal :
Following a review, certain persons have a right to appeal:
** a parish council (or if there is no such council, a parish meeting) in England or a council of a community in Wales, which is wholly or partly situated within the constituency
** 30 or more electors in the constituency
** a person (other than the Returning Officer) who made representations under Schedule A1 to the Representation of the People Act 1983. This includes an elector in a constituency in the local authority’s area (or in Northern Ireland, an elector in Northern Ireland) who made representations to the local authority (or to the Chief Electoral Officer in Northern Ireland) during the review.
** a person who is not an elector in a constituency in the authority’s area (or in Northern Ireland, a person who is not an elector in a constituency in Northern Ireland) but who we think has either sufficient interest in disabled access to polling places in the area or particular expertise in disabled access to premises and facilities

Our decision :
Appeals should be made directly to us.
If you are one of the persons mentioned above and would like to make an appeal which falls within one or both the grounds mentioned above, you can send your appeal to:
Legal Counsel
The Electoral Commission
3 Bunhill Row
London EC1Y 8YZ
Tel: 020 7271 0500
Email: appeals@electoralcommission.org.uk

On the outcome of an appeal, we may:
** direct alterations to be made to the polling places designated by the review
** make alterations ourselves, if the authority fails to make the alterations within two months of the direction being given
If we receive a representation on one of the two grounds referred to above from an eligible person(s) or body we will consider it and make a decision. In order to reach a decision we must consult with the Returning Officer and will also need to consult with others such as the local authority as well as carry out our own enquiries. Although we will conclude this consideration as promptly as possible, it is unlikely that with regard to representations received in 2015 any decision that we make to direct a change to polling places (if we were to make such a decision) could be implemented in time for the elections being held on 7 May 2015

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