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Guide to voting

Last updated on: 09-Apr-2021

3. Voting FAQs

Below are some frequently asked questions about voting, poll cards, poll stations and taking part in an election.

Please see our next election page for details on upcoming elections.

Am I registered to vote?

Poll cards are sent shortly before the election. If you receive a poll card and your circumstances have not changed then you are registered to vote.

I need to register to vote

You can register to vote at any time but as we approach an election it will need to be before the deadline set for the election. The deadline for registering to vote for the next election is 19 April 2021.

If you need to register to vote, this can be done online at GOV.UK

Am I eligible to vote?

You can register to vote if you are 16 or over, and live at your address for at least 6 months of the year. However, you cannot vote until you are 18. You also have to be either a British, Irish, European Union or Commonwealth Citizen.

When will poll cards be delivered?

Poll cards are delivered a few weeks before an election if you are registered to vote. If you do not receive a card, please contact us on 01474 33 7253.

If you have lost or damaged your poll card, you can still vote, as long as you know your polling station. Simply turn up on polling day and provide your name and address.

Who are my local candidates?

In the lead up to an election, the candidates will be shown on this website in the 'Notice of Poll' which is a list of the people/parties who are standing and their details. You'll find this information, in the lead up to the next election on our election notices page.

Can I vote by post or by proxy

You can vote by post or have someone else vote on your behalf which is known as proxy.

Application forms can be found on GOV.UK.

Completed application forms can be returned to the Civic Centre or emailed to

If you have lost or spoilt your postal vote, a replacement can be issued up until 5pm on polling day. You will need to speak to an officer to arrange this. If it will be too late to return it by post, it must be handed in to the Civic Centre, or any polling station in Gravesham, on polling day.

When are you sending postal votes out?

From around 23 April 2021 we will be sending postal votes out to those registered for postal voting.

I need to change my name on the electoral register

If your name has changed you'll need to register again, so we can update your details on the electoral register.

You can do this online at GOV.UK

I need to change my address on the electoral register

If you have moved address you will need to register to vote again at your new address.

Do I need my poll card to vote?

You don't need your poll card to vote, so don't panic if you can't find it or you've lost it come on polling day. If you do have it bring it along with you as it speeds up the process in the polling station. You'll be asked for your name and address at the polling station.

I didn't get a poll card or I've lost it?

Again if this happens it's not a big issue as long as you're registered to vote. You'll just need to come along to the polling station and give your name and address.

Where's my polling station?

If you vote in person, you will receive a poll card which tells you which polling station you need to attend. Everyone registered to vote will be allocated a polling station near to their home.

What times are the polling stations open?

Polling stations are usually open from 7am to 10pm.

How do I change the way I vote?

If you are already on the electoral register, you can apply to vote by post on the GOV.UK website. For other ways to vote, visit our Elections and voting section.

Easy read guide to voting

Mencap and the Electoral Commission have published an Easy Read Guide for voters with a learning disability.

What happens if I don't vote?

If you don't vote nothing will happen, it just means you haven't used your opportunity to have a say and get your voice heard. You should still register to vote.

What is the open register?

The open register is an extract of the electoral register but it is not used for elections. It can be bought by any person, company or organisation. For example, it is used by businesses and charities to confirm name and address details. You'll need to opt out of it if you don't want your details passed to a third party. For more information see our open register page.

When are the votes counted?

Counting of the votes usually takes place straight after the polling stations close at 10pm and continue through the night. On some occasions, the count will take place the following day which tends to be a Friday.

When and where are election results announced?

Results are usually announced by the Returning Officer at the count venue. In Gravesham this is usually in The Woodville. Results are also published on this website. We also tweet results and where possible live stream the results and reaction on YouTube. The formal notices of the results are published online and placed outside the Civic Centre when the count has finished.


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