With just a sprinkling of days until the trajectory of life in the UK could massively change, getting out and voting in this year’s general election couldn’t be more important. And the December 2019 election saw a tremendous surge in the number of people registering to vote. However, for some of the first-time voters, knowing how to get down to the polling station, and the ins and outs of what will happen on Dec. 12, can be a bit confusing. So, below is your answer to how to find your polling station, what do you do it you’ve misplaced your polling card, and more.
When you register to vote, a polling card usually arrives in the post telling you which polling station to go to. This will usually be a community hall, a school, a sports centre, or something similar near where you are registered to vote. The polling station will have booths and ballets set up in it once you arrive on Dec. 12. Needless to say, you can’t turn up at any polling station even if it’s the polling station friends or family living near you are attending. Each address is designated a polling district and you need to go to the polling station you've been assigned.
If you’ve lost your slip and perhaps forgot to write down a note of where to go, don't panic. You can absolutely still vote on Dec. 12. Simply go onto the electoral commission website and there you can enter your postcode and you will find out where your polling station is, contact details for the electoral services team at your local council, and which candidates are standing in your area at the UK Parliamentary general election.
But can you show up at the polling station without your ballet card and still vote? Yes, you can. As long as you registered to vote before midnight on Nov. 26, 2019, and you are eligible to vote, you can still turn up at your polling station with or without your polling card.
On Dec. 12, you can go and cast your votes any time between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. at your polling station. You will need to give staff your name and address once you arrive (not the polling card so, again, don’t worry if you can’t find it) in order for them to check you are on the Electoral Register. You’ll then be handed a polling card which you take into one of the booths, putting an X next to your candidate of choice.
Remember: your vote counts. So don't let anything stop you from getting down to the polls this election.