Advice on how to register to vote in the General Election

By Contributed in Politics

More than 68,000 people are registered to vote in the South Hams, but residents who are not registered are being urged to act now to ensure they have a vote when the country goes to the polls on Thursday, June 8.

Before registering you should decide if you want to vote by post or in person.

To register to vote go to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.

To vote in the General Election on Thursday, June 8, you need to register by 11.59pm on Monday, May 22. You don’t need to re-register if you’ve already registered.

Once registered you will be sent a polling card confirming your method of voting. If you are voting in person it’s useful to take this with you on the day, but not essential.

Polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm. When you arrive at the polling station, give your name and address to the staff inside. It is helpful to take your polling card with you to show who you are but you don’t have to. You will be given a ballot paper containing a list of those you can vote for – this will show their name, address and if they are standing for a political party and the name of that party. It may also show a party emblem if it has been requested by the candidate.

Take your ballot paper into the polling booth.

Follow the instructions on the notices in the polling booth and on the top of the ballot paper to vote. You do not need to do anything more than place a cross in the box alongside the name of the candidate you wish to vote for.

Once you have done this, put you ballot paper in the ballot box.

It’s as simple as that!

If you are voting by post, you also need to sign a separate form and include your date of birth so that local Electoral Registration Office can compare it with their records. Don’t forget to send back this form and your completed ballot paper in the envelope provided in plenty of time so that it can be included.

If you’re disabled, the local Electoral Registration Office can tell you about:

physical access, e.g. wheelchair ramps and disabled parking spaces; low-level polling booths; and equipment for voters with a visual impairment.

Every polling station must provide at least one large print display version of the ballot paper and a special device so that blind and visually impaired people can vote.

For more information, visit www.gov.uk/get-on-electoral-register.

If you have opted to vote in person but know that you won’t be able to make it to the poll station on the day – perhaps you’ll be abroad or have a hospital appointment –you can elect someone you trust to vote on your behalf. This is called voting by proxy. The deadline is six working days before the election and full details can be found at:https://www.gov.uk/apply-vote-proxy.

Citizens Advice South Hams helps thousands of people each year, providing free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to help people resolve the problems they face.

They are a local charity; constantly seeking funds in Devon, and nationally, on behalf of South Hams residents to meet the ever expanding demand for our service. They are volunteer led, with over 45 volunteers benefiting from national training. Join their team of volunteers as a trustee, fundraiser or advisor.

Email Citizens Advice South Hams at joanna@southhamscab.or.uk for details.

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