MSE News

Voting in elections today? You DON'T need a polling card – but take a pen or pencil with you

If you're heading out to vote in various elections across England, Scotland and Wales today you don't need to bring your polling card or ID - but you will need to bring a pen or pencil and wear a face covering. 

The following elections are all taking place today (Thursday 6 May 2021): 

  • Local council elections in England
  • Local and Combined Authority Mayoral elections in England
  • Mayor of London and London Assembly elections
  • Police and Crime Commissioner elections in England and Wales
  • Senedd Cymru/Welsh Parliamentary election
  • Scottish Parliamentary election

Find your local polling station

You can find out if there's an election in your local area by putting your postcode into the Electoral Commission's online tool. The Electoral Commission is an independent body, which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the UK. 

Once you've entered your postcode, the tool will also tell you your local polling station and the contact details for the electoral services team at your local council. Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm on 6 May. 

You don't need to bring your polling card or ID - but you will need a pen and a face covering

You don’t need your poll card or ID to vote, but you should: 

  • Only vote at a polling station if you feel well. 
  • Wear a face covering (unless exempt). 
  • Bring your own pen or pencil - although if you can't or you forget, the polling station will have a spare stock of single-use or 'cleaned' pencils. 

Social distancing measures will be in place at polling stations, and there may be a limit on how many people are allowed inside the polling station, which means you may have to queue outside. Polling stations are usually busier early in the morning, after school, and towards the end of the day, according to the Electoral Commission. 

If you were planning to vote in person but can't due to Covid-19 - you can apply for an emergency vote

If you were planning to vote in person or are someone’s proxy - where you've been assigned to vote on someone else's behalf - but find you can’t go to the polling station for coronavirus-related reasons, such as having to self-isolate, you can apply for an emergency proxy vote up until 5pm on polling day (6 May).

To do this, you'll need to fill in a form on the Electoral Commission's website - just ensure you adjust your settings as the application forms are different for those in England, Scotland, and Wales. 

You can no longer register to vote in today's elections 

If you live in England, Scotland and Wales, the deadlines to register to vote in person, by post or by proxy have now passed. This means you can't vote in today's elections if you haven't already registered.

If you're unsure if you're registered, you need to contact the electoral services team at your local council - see above for how to do this. If you’re registered to vote, you’ll be on the electoral register, which is something your local council holds. See our Electoral Roll guide for further info on what it is and how it works. 

To vote in future elections, see the Electoral Commission's website for info on what to do if you live in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, or Wales, or if you live overseas but you're a UK citizen and are eligible to vote in the UK. 

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