How to vote

Pages in How to vote

  1. 1. Voting by post
  2. 2. Voting by Proxy
  3. 3. You are here: Voting at a polling station
  4. 4. Voter ID
  5. 5. Accessible voting

3. Voting at a polling station

Your poll card tells you when the election will be held and where to go to cast your vote. It will make it easier to find you on the electoral register if you take the poll card with you to the polling station, but you can still vote without it.

Voter ID

The government has passed new legislation which requires electors and proxies voting in person to provide photo identification in polling stations to vote. If you are voting on someone else’s behalf as their proxy, you only need to bring your own photo ID to the polling station.

Once your identity has been confirmed, the polling station staff will issue you with a ballot paper. If you are a proxy and need to cast your own vote as well as someone else’s, the polling station staff will issue you with one ballot paper at a time.

Marking your ballot paper

You should take the ballot paper to one of the voting booths and mark an "X" in the box on the right-hand side of the paper against the name of the candidate(s) you wish to vote for. The maximum number of votes you can make is detailed at the top of the ballot paper and will also be displayed on a notice in the polling booth.

If you make a mistake or spoil your paper you can take it back to the presiding officer and request they issue you with another.

When you are happy with your vote fold the ballot paper once and put it into the ballot box.

Wheelchair access

As many polling stations as possible have wheelchair access. The ramped access may not be through the main door, but it will be clearly signposted.

If it's difficult for you to access the polling station, the Presiding Officer can help you. They can bring a ballot paper out to you. Once you've voted, fold the ballot paper and the Presiding Officer will take it to the ballot box.

Every polling station has a low-level polling booth. It's suitable for most wheelchair users and people of short stature.

Voting aids for visually impaired or blind people

Large print notices

We display large print notices of ballot papers in every polling station. You can use these as a reference. By law you must still cast your vote on a standard print ballot paper.

Tactile device

We can fix a tactile device to the ballot paper. It has flaps that cover each option on the ballot paper and has the corresponding ballot number underneath. These numbers are embossed in black and you can also identify it by touch. 

To cast your vote, lift the relevant flap to show the box on the ballot paper and make your mark. We then remove the device and place the ballot paper in the ballot box.

Help from a companion

If you have a disability that prevents you from completing a ballot paper on your own, you can bring someone with you to the polling station. Your companion must be 18 years or older on election day.

At the polling station they must ask the Presiding Officer for a companion declaration form. This is to state they have recorded your vote truly and faithfully.

Help from staff

You can ask the Presiding Officer to help you vote. They are legally bound by the Requirement for Secrecy and your vote will remain secret.

If you know which candidate you want to vote for, the Presiding Officer can mark the ballot paper for you. You do this in the privacy of the polling booth.

Ask for a reasonable adjustment

To ask for a reasonable adjustment at your polling station you can:

The Returning Officer will then consider your request and get back to you.