General election 2019 – everything you need to know about how to cast your vote
Published: Monday, 9 December, 2019
With polling day for the UK Parliamentary General Election only a few days away, Stroud District Council is providing advice on how to cast your vote.
Here’s a quick rundown:
Make sure you vote in time
- Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm on Thursday 12 December. You had to have applied to register to vote by midnight on Tuesday 26 November in order to be able to vote in this election.
- Your poll card will have been sent to the address where you are registered. It will say where your polling station is. You can only vote at the polling station that is shown on your own poll card.
- All polling stations shut at 10pm, without exception, so it’s advisable to get there in plenty of time – don’t leave it until the last minute.
- If you arrive at the polling station after 10pm then the poll will be closed and you will have missed your chance to take part, however, if you are in a queue at your polling station at 10pm you will still be able to vote.
- If you have a postal vote, make sure it is returned by 10pm on Thursday 12 December.
- If you have not had time to post it before polling day, then you can take it to a polling station in the Stroud Constituency on polling day and hand it in. Postal votes which arrive after 10pm on 12 December will not be counted.
- Alternatively, you can drop your postal vote off at the council offices at Ebley Mill, Stroud, GL5 4UB.
- If you’ve appointed a proxy, then they need to make sure they are able to vote at the correct polling station on your behalf.
- If you are suddenly unable to vote in person, because you have a medical emergency which prevents you from attending on polling day, or your occupation, service or employment means that you cannot go to the polling station in person, and you only became aware of that fact after the deadline of 5pm on Wednesday 4 December, then you may be entitled to appoint an emergency proxy.
- You can apply for an emergency proxy up until 5pm on polling day. You should call 01453 754886 as soon as possible to ask about this.
What you need to the polling station
- Just yourself!
- You can take your poll card with you to show the polling station staff when you arrive. They will still ask for you to confirm your name and address. If you don’t have it with you, just tell the polling station staff your name and your address and they can check whether you’re on the electoral register.
How to fill out your ballot paper
- The staff at the polling station will give you a ballot paper listing the candidates you can vote for.
- Staff are on hand at the polling station to provide advice on the voting process.
- If you are disabled, you can ask the Presiding Officer for help and they can mark the ballot paper for you. You can also ask someone else to help you (e.g. a support worker, as long as they are either a relative or an eligible elector).
- If you have a visual impairment, you can ask to see a large print ballot paper or you can ask for a special voting device that allows you to vote on your own in secret.
- Take your ballot paper into a polling booth so that no one can see how you vote. Read the ballot paper carefully, it will tell you how to cast your vote. Do not write anything else on the paper or your vote may not be counted.
- Mark your ballot paper according to the instructions. A pencil will be provided for you to do this, but you may use your own pen if you prefer.
- If you make a mistake on your ballot paper, don’t worry, so long as you haven’t already put it in the ballot box just let the polling station staff know and they can issue you with a replacement ballot paper.
- Fold your completed ballot paper in half and pop it in the ballot box.
Social media and photos
- Social media is a great way to let your friends and family know you have voted and to encourage them to do the same. So use Twitter, Facebook and any other social media accounts you have to get the message out there.
- Photos of you before you go into or after you leave the polling station are great to use on social media posts but don’t take a picture of yourself inside the polling station as if you post this it could be a breach of the law.
Hannah Emery, Democratic Services and Elections Manager for Stroud District Council, said: “We want to make sure that everyone knows how they can cast their vote and can easily take part. If anyone has questions there’s a great deal of information on how to vote at www.aboutmyvote.co.uk or they can call our team on 01453 754886 and we’ll be able to help. Polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm on election day and information on how to mark your ballot paper will be available inside.”