Guide to Voting

How can I vote?

  1. In person - you will be sent a white poll card which tells you where to find your polling station which will be open from 7.00am to 10.00pm.  You can only vote in the station assigned to you and there will be staff on hand to help you.  Given the tight timeline your polling station may be different to normal so please check your poll card carefully.
  2. By post - you will be sent a yellow poll card followed by your postal voting pack which you will need to complete and return as quickly as possible to make sure your vote is counted.  Applications to set up postal voting take time to process and be printed so you need to consider this if you are about to leave on holiday.  If you are unsure whether there is time please contact the Electoral Services team on 023 8083 2245 for guidance.
  3. By proxy - you can appoint someone else to vote instead of you.  This needs to be someone you trust to cast your vote the way you want them to.

     Mencap easy read guide to voting

Before polling day

All electors will receive a poll card.

If you are voting at a polling station or have appointed a proxy to go along and vote for you, your poll card will be white.  A map, showing where you need to go to cast your vote, will be printed on the card.  Please check the card carefully and go to the correct address.

If you have applied to vote by post your poll card will be yellow. A postal pack, including your voting papers, will be sent to you in the post. It is important that you complete your postal pack carefully and return it as soon as possible to make sure it arrives in time.  If you were already registered for a postal vote when the election was called you should receive your pack by 5 December 2019.  Applications received in the run up to the deadline will be processed and if successful will be sent out as soon as is practicable.

Find your polling station

Can I change my postal vote to a polling station vote?

The deadline to make amendments to postal voting arrangements is 5pm on 26 November 2019. You can find out more on our Postal Voting page.

Can someone else vote on my behalf?

If you are unable to cast your own vote or you will not be available at the time of the poll you can appoint someone to vote on your behalf (a Proxy). You should only appoint someone you can trust to cast your vote in accordance with your wishes.  In order to appoint a new proxy for this election we must receive your application by 5pm on 4 December 2019.  You can find out more on our Proxy Voting page.

What if I am unable to go to the polling station on polling day?

If you fall ill or are called away by your employer after the deadline of 4 December 2019, then you can apply for an emergency proxy up until 5pm on polling day (12 December 2019). There are special forms and requirements for this. Please contact the Electoral Services Team on 023 8083 2245 so we can help you with the process.

What if I make a mistake completing my postal vote or do not receive it?

The first day that we are able to issue replacement postal packs is 6 December 2019.  You will need to bring the whole pack including any envelopes to Electoral Services, Civic Centre, Southampton, SO14 7LY in order to obtain a replacement.  If you have not received your pack please contact the office on 023 8083 2245.  You will need to sign a formal statement declaring that you have not received it before we are able to issue a replacement.  The deadline to apply for a replacement postal voting pack is 5pm on 12 December 2019 at the Civic Centre.

It’s okay for friends and family members to

  • discuss how they will vote and their reasons for voting
  • give you their opinion about how you should vote
  • put your sealed postal ballot pack in the postbox if you cannot do it yourself
  • come with you to the polling station and help you vote. They will have to sign a form at the polling station saying they will be supporting you to vote. 

It’s not okay for friends and family members to:

  • force you to vote in a particular way or stop you from voting
  • take your postal ballot paper away from you, watch you complete your ballot paper or ask to see it when you have completed it
  • cast your vote for you – even with your permission – unless you have appointed a specific person to act as your ’proxy’ (where you officially nominate a person you trust to vote on your behalf).
    This includes:
    - marking your ballot paper for you or signing on your behalf
    - casting a vote for you just because you are away or incapacitated - even if they think they know how you want to vote

Candidates and agents campaigning

It’s okay for campaigners to:

  • explain their party or candidate’s policies to you
  • encourage you to vote for their party or candidate
  • encourage you not to vote for another party or candidate
  • explain how the electoral registration or voting process works, including how to vote by post
  • provide you with an electoral registration form or an application form for a proxy or postal vote
  • give you advice about how to fill in an electoral registration or an application form to apply for a proxy or postal vote

It’s not okay for campaigners to:

  • Force you to vote in a particular way or stop you from voting
  • Offer to reward you for voting for them, with money, food, other gifts, a job or some other treat
  • Watch you while you complete your postal ballot paper
  • Take your postal ballot paper from you, especially if you have not voted and sealed the ballot paper in the official envelope
  • Take your completed postal ballot pack away to deliver on your behalf, unless they have contacted the Returning Officer first
  • Get in the way or stop you from getting into the polling station to vote.

What to do if you suspect electoral fraud