Who can vote at an Election?
You can only vote if you are:
- On the Electoral Register
- Eighteen years or older on polling day
- A British, Commonwealth, Irish or European Union citizen
- Not subject to any legal incapacity to vote, such as being in prison
Go to our Registering to Vote page to find out how to apply to be on the Electoral Register, or how to re-register if you have changed addressed.
Voting for EU Citizens
If you are a European Union citizen (other than British or Irish Citizens), you can only vote at Local Elections – you cannot vote at General UK Parliamentary Elections.
Voting when you live overseas
- Visit the Electoral Commission website for more information about registering to vote if you are a British citizen resident overseas
- The Electoral Commission website also provides information about registering to vote and voting if you are in the Armed Forces or a Crown Servant
How to vote in person
You vote in person at a polling station (usually in a public building, such as a school or local hall).
Before an election, you will be sent a poll card telling you when to vote and at which polling station. You can only vote at the polling station location on your card. You do not have to take your poll card to the polling station.
The polling station will be open from 7am to 10pm on the day of the election (polling day).
When you get to the polling station, give your name and address to the staff inside the polling station when you arrive.
You’ll be given a ballot paper containing a list of the people, parties or options you can vote for.
Follow the instructions on the notices in the polling booth and on the top of the ballot paper to vote. Usually this will involve going to a private area, marking the ballot paper with a cross for the person you want to vote for, then putting your ballot paper in the ballot box.
Voting if you have a disability
If you have a disability, you can use our Enquiry Form to ask about physical access and any other special arrangements we have put in place to help. Remember to select “elections and electoral registration” on the drop-down box.
How to vote by post or by proxy
Visit our postal and proxy votes page for more information on voting when you can’t vote in person.