Voters slate Boris Johnson ahead of local elections
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On Thursday, May 5, local elections will be held across Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and parts of England for Britons to vote for new (or the same) representatives for their respective districts and boroughs. More than 6,000 seats will be up for grabs as well as elections for six local authority and metropolitan mayors in London, Hertfordshire, and South Yorkshire.
While there are a number of means available to cast your vote, such as postal and proxy, those who haven’t arranged these methods will have to head over to their polling stations in person.
Polling stations are located everywhere the local elections are taking place to ensure everyone has easy access and as many votes can be cast as possible.
Local authorities send polling cards to the addresses of every registered elector in the area, and this card will display details of when the election will take place and where your local polling station will be.
These polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm across the board to again, ensure there’s an adequate amount of time for people to cast their ballots.
Local elections tend to take place ever four years, so it can be easy to forget what you do and don’t need with you when heading over to the polling station.
Express.co.uk answers the frequently asked questions to ensure you are best prepared on local election day on Thursday.
Can I vote without a polling card?
As mentioned, your local council should have sent you a poll card displaying the election details and at which polling station to cast your vote.
You will only be allowed to vote at the polling station detailed on your card, however, you will not need your polling card with you on the day.
The polling station will have you registered on their list. All you have to do is provide your name and address to the staff.
If you have not received a poll card but think you should have and are registered to vote, contact your local Electoral Registration Office here.
Will I need ID to vote?
If you live in England, Wales, or Scotland, you will not need to bring any form of identification with you to vote.
However, if you’re voting in Northern Ireland, you must bring a form of photo ID to the staff at the polling station to prove your identity.
Forms of ID include a passport, driving licence, electoral identity card, or certain kinds of Translink Smartpass.
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Can I bring my own pen?
This question is largely fuelled by conspiracy theories that vote counters can tamper with the cards if the votes are marked in pencil.
There is very little evidence this actually takes place, however, some feel more comfortable bringing their own pens with them, regardless.
This is perfectly acceptable and you won’t be stopped from doing this. The only necessary requirement is that you provide a clear indication of who you are voting for.
Additional writing on the ballot card might see your vote listed as ‘spoilt’, so make sure to follow instructions and stick to the box provided.
Is there still time for me to vote by post?
The Electoral Commission says your postal vote must be with the elections team at your local council by 10pm on polling day to be counted.
If it’s not possible for you to post your vote in time, you can take it directly to your polling station or to your local council on polling day.
You can no longer apply for a postal vote for the May 5 election, as the deadline for this ended on April 19. However, you still might be able to apply for an emergency proxy vote.
This enables those who cannot vote in person due to employment or a disability and who became aware of this reason after the proxy deadline, the option to still take part.
The option to apply for this will last until 5pm on election day, and you must be able to provide a signature from an appropriate person.
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