Local Elections will take place in Southampton on Thursday 4 May 2023.
In the event COVID-19 continues to present risks to public health, arrangements will be in place to help ensure polling stations are safe places to vote. This may include measures you’ve become used to over recent months in shops and banks, such as hand sanitiser and social distancing.
Am I able to vote at the May 2023 elections?
To vote in these elections you must first be registered to vote, which can be done online in just five minutes.
How can I vote at the May 2023 elections?
There are a number of ways to have your say in May this year - you can vote in a polling station, by post, or by appointing someone you trust to vote on your behalf, known as a proxy vote.
Voting at a polling station
The UK Government has introduced a new requirement for voters to show photo ID when voting at a polling station. This will apply for the first time in Southampton at the City Council elections on Thursday 4 May 2023.
More information on which forms of photo ID can be used, and what to do if you don't have an accepted form of ID, can be found on the Electoral Commission's website.
Apply to vote by post
To apply to vote by post you need to fill in and sign an application form. If you’re thinking about voting by post, you can apply to do this now. This will make sure your application is processed early, and your postal vote can be sent to you more quickly once the candidates for the elections are confirmed.
Apply to vote 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. 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.
To apply to vote by proxy you need to fill in and sign an application form explaining why you can't get to your polling station in person.
Polling station accessibility
The voting process should be accessible to all voters. We offer a range of support for disabled voters to enable them to vote independently or with assistance. If you are not sure what to do or need help, please ask our staff at the polling station.
To help make polling stations accessible we provide:
- Ramps where needed so polling stations are wheelchair accessible
- Adapted level polling booths for wheelchair users
- Large print versions of ballot papers on display to view
- Pencil grips to attach to pencils when marking the ballot paper
- Magnifiers to use when reading guidance or marking the ballot paper
- Tactile Voting Device, to enable blind and partially sighted people to mark their ballot papers independently;
- Training for polling station staff based on how to assist people with visual impairments and blind people
- Friendly and helpful polling station staff who will make reasonable adjustments where possible
Please let the polling station staff know if you need any additional support to be able to exercise your right to vote.
For example, if you need:
- Someone to read out the candidates on the ballot paper
- To be shown a large print ballot paper
- To use the Tactile Voting Device
- Someone to help mark the ballot paper with your choice, either a person accompanying you or the polling station staff
- To be assisted in moving around the polling station
If you would like to make a request before polling day for additional equipment or support in your polling station, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Learning Disability England – voting resources 2023
- Mencap – guides to voting
- My Vote My Voice – guide to voting
- Dimensions #LoveYourVote – making politics accessible
- Dimensions #LoveYour Vote – your voting passport
- Electoral Commission – easy read booklet on voter ID
- GOV.UK – easy read guide on applying for a Voter Authority Certificate
- MiXit TV video – how to vote
Electoral Commission – forms
View the Electoral Commission site for easy read, large print and alternative languages for the Voter Authority Certificate form.