When you vote in person, you go to the polling station allocated to you based on your address on the electoral register.

Before you go to vote, check where your polling station is. It might not be the closest one to where to you live, and it might have changed since the last time you voted. You have to go to your allocated polling station, and you can't go to a different one close to where you work, for example.

Your polling station will be on your poll card, which you'll receive through the post a few weeks before polling day.

If you are voting in an election that requires photo ID then make sure you have an accepted form of photo ID or your voter authority certificate with you before you go to the polling station.

Opening times

Polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm on polling day.

They can get busy, particularly towards the end of the day. If there's a queue at your polling station, you'll still be able to vote as long as you joined the queue before 10pm.

If you need help getting to your polling station, you can contact your local council.

How to vote in person

Check where your polling station is, and go to vote between 7am and 10pm on polling day.

When you arrive at your polling station, a staff member will ask for your name and address, and check that you are on the electoral register.

If you are voting in an election that requires photo ID, you will need to show photo ID to vote. They will ask to see your ID, check that it's accepted, and that it looks like you. If you are registered to vote anonymously, you will be asked to show your poll card and anonymous elector’s document.

A private area will be available should you choose to have your photo ID viewed in private. This might be a separate room, or an area separated by a privacy screen, depending on the polling station.

The staff member will cross your name off the register and give you a ballot paper listing the candidates you can vote for. You might be given more than one ballot paper if there is more than one election taking place in your local area on the same day.

Take your ballot paper (or papers) to a polling booth, so that you can cast your vote in secret.

Read the instructions on the ballot paper carefully. Some elections use different voting methods, so you need to make sure you fill in each ballot paper correctly.

Complete your ballot paper using the pencil provided in the polling booth. You can also use your own pen if you want to. Don't write anything else on the paper, or your vote may not be counted.

If you make a mistake, don't put your ballot paper in the ballot box. Ask the polling station staff for a replacement ballot paper, and fill it in again.

Once you're done, fold your completed ballot paper and put it in the ballot box.

If your photo ID is refused

If your arrive at a polling station without an accepted form of photo ID, you will be asked to return with ID that is accepted.

Polling station staff will complete a form to record that a ballot paper couldn’t be issued, and the reason why.

The total number of voters who later return with accepted ID and are issued with a ballot paper will also be recorded. 

Asking for help

If you're not sure what to do, or need any help, just ask the staff at the polling station – they will be happy to assist you to cast your vote.

There are a number of things at the polling station to help you cast your vote, including a large print sample ballot paper, and a tactile voting device to help if you have a visual impairment.

If you want to, you can take your phone into the polling booth to use magnifier or text-to-speech apps, or the phone torch to improve lighting. When using your phone, don’t take any photos inside the polling station.