Different ways to vote
Vote at a polling station
When you arrive at your polling station:
- Tell the staff your name and address (it is helpful if you show them your polling card if you have taken it with you)
- Present your photo ID or Voter Authority Certificate
- They will check you're registered to vote, mark their register and give you a ballot paper
- Take your ballot paper to one of the booths and mark it with your vote. At the top of the ballot paper it will tell you how many people you need to vote for.
- Put your ballot paper in the ballot box
If you want to vote by post you must be registered to vote. You can apply to vote by post at any time. You don't need to wait until an election is announced.
New arrangements for postal voting have now been introduced from 31 October 2023. Any new applications received on or after this date will need to satisfy the new requirements and include additional information such as your National Insurance number.
The quickest way to apply is now online at Apply for a postal vote - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
You can also visit the Electoral Commission website, download and complete the application form.
Submit your completed form to the Electoral Registration Officer at Civic Centre, Windmill Street, Gravesend, Kent, DA12 1AU. If you prefer a paper form, please email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Changing or cancelling your postal vote
If you decide you don't want to vote by post anymore you can change or cancel your postal vote as long as we receive your request before 5pm, 11 working days before an election.
Please email us your name and contact details email@example.com
Remember you can't vote at a polling station once we've sent you out a postal vote. If you don't have time to post it back though you can hand it into your allocated polling station or here at the Civic Centre.
Voting by proxy means you give permission for someone to vote on your behalf.
This person should be someone you trust to vote the way you ask them to. They can either vote at a polling station or by post for you. Before you ask someone to do this for you, you must apply to vote by proxy. We must receive all new applications by the election deadline.
Visit the Electoral Commission website, download and complete the application form, and send it to:
Electoral Registration Officer, Civic Centre, Windmill Street, Gravesend, Kent, DA12 1AU
Voting by proxy for a specific election
When you register to vote by proxy, you need to give a reason why you can't vote yourself. This could be related to your work, your health or difficulty in reaching the polling station.
After you've registered your wishes you'll get a letter confirming the appointment of your proxy and a letter will be sent to them giving instructions on what they need to do.
If it turns out you are able to vote in person on the day of the election you can still do this but only if your proxy hasn't already voted on your behalf.
Voting by proxy for more than one election
If you want to appoint a proxy for more than one election, you need to give a reason why you can't vote yourself. This could be related to your health, your work, your place of residence or the fact that you are in the armed forces or working overseas. You will be sent a letter confirming the appointment of your proxy and a letter will be sent to them giving them instructions on what they need to do.
Proxy postal voting
You have another option and your proxy can vote by post on your behalf but you must register this request on the appropriate form available online at Electoral Commission. We must receive all new applications in advance of the election deadline. We will send the postal vote to the proxy with instructions on how to vote. When you have registered for a proxy postal vote this means you can't vote at the polling station and neither can your proxy.