There are elections today for the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly, London Mayor and Assembly, Police and Crime Commissioners in England and Wales, and also in many council elections across England.
If you have an election in your patch, here is the key voting information – and scroll to the bottom for what to do AFTER you have voted.
Voting in person
- Polling stations are open between 7am and 10pm today. One small change since the last general election: being in a queue to vote at 10pm is now ok and you will still be allowed to cast your vote.
- You don’t need your polling card to vote.
- You have to vote at your local polling station, which is indicated on the card. If you’ve lost your card and aren’t sure where to vote, you can contact your local council.
- In some places there are also local council elections being held, so you may be given more than one ballot paper. If you do, check the voting instructions carefully as they may vary between the ballot papers. For example, in many areas you can vote for up to three local councillors but only one MP.
Voting by post
- Make sure all the paperwork is completed and put inside the (outer) sealed envelope.
- Don’t confuse your date of birth with today’s date when filling in the paperwork – this is one of the st common reasons for postal votes to be rejected.
- Postal ballots can be handed in at polling stations up to 10pm today. Don’t assume posting will work – in some places the Royal Mail may collect and deliver postal ballots posted on polling day in time but there’s a big risk your postal ballot will be too late and so won’t count. It is best if you return the paperwork to a polling station yourself, but if you can’t make it you can ask someone else you trust to take the sealed envelope to a polling station for you. Your local council may also be willing to collect the paperwork – local practice varies.
- If a last minute medical emergency prevents you going to vote, you have until 5pm today to apply for an emergency proxy so that someone else can vote on your behalf. Contact your local council ASAP to arrange this.
- One point I’ve almost never heard anyone raise* but really, thinking about it, lots of people should ask: it is safe to use the pencils in the voting booths: they are not ordinary pencils, but special indelible pencils – so don’t worry, no-one can erase and alter your vote if use the pencil.
Once you’ve voted…
There’s no better way to encourage someone to vote, and vote Liberal Democrat, than if they see that their friends have also done so. A quick tweet or Facebook update will do the trick:
- Click here to tweet that you’ve voted Lib Dem
- Click here to share on Facebook that you’ve voted Lib Dem
(Remember to create and send your own message rather than resharing someone else’s – as that might run into legal problem with the ban on publishing details of how other people have voted before the polls close.)
* The one exception being conspiracy theories over the use of pencils in the Scottish independence referendum.