There are three ways to vote in an election; at a polling station, by post or by proxy.
Vote at a polling station
Once you have registered to vote, you will receive a poll card at your address telling you where to vote and the hours your polling station will be open.
This will arrive around four weeks before the elections.
Polling stations are open 7am to 10pm on the election day. Staff will be on hand to help so please ask questions if you are unsure of anything. You can only vote at the polling station on your poll card. It is not possible to check online which polling station you should use.
For more information regarding voting at a polling station please visit the Electoral Commission website.
Accessibility in the polling station
The voting process should be accessible to all voters. We offer a range of support for voters with disabilities to enable them to vote independently or with assistance.
We have endeavoured to ensure that all polling stations across the borough are accessible by ramp or elevator to wheelchair and mobility scooter users. Every station is also equipped with at least one wheelchair accessible polling booth.
Once inside the polling station, there are clear instructions on how to vote, in both written and picture formats. Our helpful and friendly Polling Station staff are also trained to offer impartial guidance. There are also a number of additional ways in which an elector can receive support. Please speak to a member of staff if you require any of the following:
- Tactile Voting Device (which attaches to a ballot paper to allow blind or partially sighted voters to mark their ballot paper with or without assistance)
- Large print versions of ballot papers to view (as a reference for blind or partially sighted voters)
- Ballot Paper Magnifier (a hand-held device which allows an elector to magnify any part of a regular-sized ballot paper)
- Assistance from a friend or relative (or the Polling Station’s Presiding Officer who can join an elector in the polling booth and help them mark the ballot paper*)
*We encourage electors to bring a trusted companion to the Polling Station to assist them in voting if they would like to do so. If you require assistance marking your ballot paper, your companion and the Presiding Officer will need to sign a form before you can cast your vote. This is to ensure a formal record is kept of any occasion where a voter has been accompanied into the polling booth.
Voting by post
Voting by post is an easy and convenient way of voting if you do not want to vote in person at a polling station.
You can apply to vote by post for a particular election or referendum, for a set period of time or for all future polls. Postal votes can be sent to addresses in the UK and abroad.
If you have recently moved house and still wish to vote by post, you must apply for a new postal vote. You have the option to request a new postal vote application form when you register to vote at your new address.
How to apply for a postal vote
You must apply in advance, by 5pm, 11 working days before an election. You are strongly advised to complete and send in your application early. Don't wait until the election date is known.
Download one of our postal vote application forms, print off, read the information, follow the instructions, complete and return the form. Alternatively, contact Electoral Services and they will send you an application form.
How to check if you have a postal vote
If you wish to know whether you have a postal vote, please contact Electoral Services and they can confirm whether you have a postal vote set up.
How to cancel your postal vote
If you wish to cancel your postal vote, you will need to send a signed letter to Electoral Services requesting that they cancel your postal vote. Alternatively, contact Electoral Services who can send you a postal vote cancellation form. The completed letter/form will need to be received by the same deadline of applications for a postal vote, 5pm 11 working days prior to an election.
Returning your postal vote pack
Ballot papers and accompanying postal voting statement are usually sent out in a postal vote pack about two weeks before the day of an election. Once you’ve completed the forms by following the instructions in your postal vote pack, you then need to return these to us by 10pm on the day of the election, using one of the following options:
- by post in the pre-paid envelope provided
- by taking it to a polling station in the ward or division or constituency of the election
- by bringing it to Charnwood Borough Council, Southfield Road, Loughborough, LE11 2TX
Please allow plenty of time for posting to ensure that your papers arrive in good time.
For more information regarding voting at a polling station please visit www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/voter/voting-person-post-or-proxy/voting-post.
Voting by proxy
If you aren't able to cast your vote in person, you can ask someone you trust to cast your vote for you. This is called a proxy vote and the person casting your vote is often referred to as your proxy. You must give a reason why you can't get to your polling station in person.
The person voting on your behalf can either go to your polling station to cast your vote, or can apply to vote for you by post.
Who can be your proxy
Someone can be your proxy if they are:
- 18 or over
- registered to vote
- able to get to your polling station on polling day (unless they obtain a postal vote to vote on your behalf before the postal vote deadline)
- eligible to vote in the election
Your proxy does not have to be related to you. However, they can only be a proxy for close relatives and a total of two other people at the same election.
How to apply for a proxy vote
Choose the proxy vote application form for the reason you cannot vote in person, from the following lists. Download the relevant proxy application form, print off, read the information, follow the instructions, complete and return the form to Electoral Services using one of the options below.
Alternatively, contact Electoral Services and they will send you an application form.
To return your completed form, you can:
- Return your form by post or in person to: Electoral Registration Officer, Charnwood Borough Council, Southfield Road, Loughborough, LE11 2TR
- Alternatively, attach a scanned copy of your completed form using our contact form
Circumstances under which you may apply for a temporary proxy vote:
You might know you are going to be on holiday, or will be away for work for an upcoming election day. You only want a proxy vote for that particular election, and not on a long-term basis:
- Application to Vote by Proxy for a Particular Election (PDF Document, 0.15 Mb)
Circumstances under which you may apply for a permanent proxy vote:
- You are disabled: physical incapacity, registered blind
- You live overseas
- Your employment makes it consistently difficult to attend the polling station
- Your education makes it consistently difficult to attend the polling station
- You are a member of the armed forces
- You are a Crown servant or British Council employee
How to check if you have a proxy vote
If you wish to know whether you have a proxy vote, please contact Electoral Services and they can confirm whether you have a proxy vote set up.
How to cancel your proxy vote
If you wish to cancel your proxy vote, you will need to send a signed letter to Electoral Services requesting that they cancel your proxy vote. Alternatively, contact Electoral Services who can send you a proxy vote cancellation form. The completed letter/form will need to be received by the same deadline of applications for a proxy vote, 5pm 6 working days prior to an election.
For more information regarding voting at a polling station please visit www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/voter/voting-person-post-or-proxy/voting-proxy.
Voter ID Requirements
Bring ID to vote for the next election
From May 2023, all voters will be required to show an accepted form of photographic identification (photo ID) at a polling station before they are given a ballot paper.
Last updated: Tue 24th January, 2023 @ 09:13