How do I vote? Guide to voting at the 2015 General Election and local elections

PUBLISHED: 20:40 06 May 2015 | UPDATED: 20:42 06 May 2015

A polling station in Welwyn

A polling station in Welwyn

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Voters across Welwyn Hatfield and Potters Bar will go to the polls tomorrow (Thursday) in the 2015 General Election and local borough council elections.

General Election 2015General Election 2015

The UK Parliamentary election, and Welwyn Hatfield Council and Hertsmere Borough Council local elections take place on Thursday, May 7. The polls open at 7am.

Jo Bateman, Hertsmere’s principal electoral services officer, said: “We’re getting very close to polling day now, so we want to make sure that everyone knows how they can cast their vote and is ready to take part on May 7.

“If you have any questions, there’s lots of information on how to vote at www.aboutmyvote.co.uk or you can call our team on 020 8207 7481 and we’ll be able to help.”

Here’s a rundown of things you need to know on polling day:

Voters go to the polls on May 7Voters go to the polls on May 7

* Make sure you vote in time

Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm on Thursday, May 7.

You had to have applied to register to vote by midnight on April 20 in order to be able to vote on May 7.

Your poll card will have been sent to the address where you are registered. It will say where your polling station is.

You can only vote at the polling station that is stated on your own poll card.

* Postal voting

If you have a postal vote, make sure it is returned by 10pm on Thursday, May 7.

If you have not had time to post it before polling day, then you can take it to the polling station on polling day and hand it in.

Your poll card tells you where your polling station is.

Postal votes that arrive after 10pm on May 7 will not be counted.

* Proxy voting

If you have appointed a proxy, they need to make sure they are able to vote at the correct polling station on your behalf.

If you are suddenly unable to vote in person, because you have a medical emergency which prevents you from attending on polling day, or your occupation, service or employment means that you cannot go to the polling station in person, and you only become aware of that fact after the deadline, then you may be entitled to appoint an emergency proxy.

You can apply for an emergency proxy up until 5pm on polling day.

You should contact your local electoral registration office directly to ask about this.

* What you need to take with you

Just yourself.

You can take your poll card with you to show the polling station staff when you arrive. They will still ask for you to confirm your name and address.

If you do not have it with you, just tell the polling station staff your name and your address and they can check whether you’re on the electoral register.

* At the polling station

The staff at the polling station will give you a ballot paper listing the candidates you can vote for.

You may be given more than one ballot paper if there is more than one election taking place in your local area on the same day.

Staff are on hand at the polling station to provide advice on the voting process.

If you are disabled, you can ask the presiding officer for help and they can mark the ballot paper for you.

You can also ask someone else to help you (e.g. a support worker, as long as they are either a relative or an eligible elector).

If you have a visual impairment, you can ask to see a large print ballot paper.

Take your ballot paper into a polling booth so that no one can see how you vote.

Read the ballot paper carefully, it will tell you how to cast your vote.

Do not write anything else on the paper or your vote may not be counted.

Mark your ballot paper according to the instructions. A pencil will be provided for you to do this, but you may use your own pen if you prefer.

If you make a mistake on your ballot paper, don’t worry, So long as you have not already put it in the ballot box, just let the polling station staff know and they can issue you with a replacement ballot paper.

* Visit the Welwyn Hatfield Times’ Election website for results from the General Election and local elections as they are announced.

The results from the Welwyn Hatfield and Hertsmere Parliamentary elections will be declared in the early hours of Friday, May 8.

The results from the respective local elections will be announced later in the day.


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