Thursday, 8 June 2017. The day we vote in the General Election 2017. It could be that this year is the first year you’ve voted and so I thought I’d write a post to explain what to expect when you go to the polling station.
Do I need to take anything with me?
After you registered to vote, you will have received a polling card through the post. Check this out. On it you’ll find the voting information that you need: the hours your nearest polling station is open and its address. My polling station is open from 7am until 10pm so I have all day to get it done.
Don’t worry if you can’t find it. You don’t need to take it with you! In England, Scotland and Wales, you just turn up and tell the staff your name and address. In Northern Ireland, you need to take a photo ID. They will then cross your name off the list.
What is a ballot paper?
Once your name has been ticked off the list, you will be handed a ballot paper. This piece of paper will list all of the different candidates that you are able to vote for in your constituency. This list will show the political party and the name of each candidate.
*NOTE* – you won’t see the names of the Party Leaders on your ballot paper (e.g. Jeremy Corbyn, Theresa May, Tim Farron etc.) UNLESS you live in the constituency where they are MP. As an example, Jeremy Corbyn’s constituency is Islington North.
The way the voting system works is that you elect the MP that represents the political party you want to elect, so you will see their name on the ballot paper.
How do I cast my vote?
Take your ballot paper over to one of the booths so that you can cast your vote in private. Read through the ballot paper carefully and follow the instructions on there. Using the pen provided, put a cross in the box next to the political party that you want to.
DO NOT write or draw anything else on your ballot paper. This might confuse the people who are counting the votes and they might discount your vote completely, meaning it would be a complete waste of your democratic right.
Once you have marked your cross, fold your piece of paper in half and post it into the ballot box that will be in the same room.
That’s it, you’re done! Depending on how busy the polling station is, you should be in and out in just a couple of minutes. It couldn’t be easier!
What if I can’t make it to a polling station?
If something comes up that prevents you from making it to the polling station on the day, you can apply to vote by emergency proxy up until 5pm on polling day. You can only vote by emergency proxy if you’ve been unexpectedly called away with work or you have had a medical emergency.
Who do I vote for?
That is a bit of a trickier one! Read the party manifestos and consider which policies mean the most to you. There are also plenty of quizzes out there that can help you decide – I tried I Side With and found it interesting. There’s not much time left, so get involved!
When are you planning to vote?
Pin now, read later!