You should receive your poll cards at least two weeks before an election or referendum. Each member of the household who is eligible to vote should receive a poll card. The card will state the date of the election or referendum, the hours of poll and where your polling station is.
If you do not receive a poll card before an election or referendum and are registered and eligible, please contact Electoral Services.
You do not need to take your poll card or any ID with you when you vote. Poll cards are sent to electors for information purposes, and currently the law does not allow staff at the polling station to ask electors for any form of ID. Electors must confirm their name and address and provided that they are on the electoral register they are able to vote.
Casting your vote
- The hours of poll for all elections is 7am to 10pm
- On arrival at the poll station, the clerk will ask you to confirm your name and address. You will then receive your ballot paper(s)
- The ballot paper(s) has an official stamp/barcode/watermark
- Take the ballot paper to the voting booth and mark 'X' in the box next to the candidate(s) or party(s) or choice you wish to vote for
- Put your completed ballot paper in the ballot box
Measures will be taken at polling stations to ensure that they are Covid-safe for voters and polling staff. The measures taken will be in accordance with Public Health and Government advice and guidance at the time of the election or referendum taking place. At present voters will be encouraged to wear face coverings and maintain social distancing in polling stations, and if possible to bring their own pen or pencil to use when voting.
Why pencils are used to mark ballot papers in polling stations
Pencils are used at polling stations for practical reasons: with ink pens there is always a risk that they may dry out or spill; ink may cause some transfer of the mark the voter has made on the ballot paper when they fold it, potentially leading to their vote being rejected if, for example, it looks like they have voted for more candidates or parties than they are entitled to. However there is no legal requirement for ballot papers to be marked with a pencil and voters can choose to bring their own pen into the polling station to vote.
To find out more about voting at polling stations, visit the national About My Vote page.