How to vote

At a polling station

The polling station is the place where you go to vote. It could be a school, hall, community centre or a portable cabin. Find your polling station.

If you are registered to vote at a polling station, you will get a poll card about five weeks before an election. The poll card tells you when the election is, and where your polling station is.

Marking your ballot paper

Ballot papers can be marked with a pencil or pen.

Pencils are usually provided inside polling stations for practical reasons, including:

  • ink pens may dry out or spill
  • when the voter folds the ballot paper, ink may transfer to elsewhere on the ballot paper - this could cause the vote to be rejected (for example, if it looks like they have voted for more candidates than allowed)

Pens are available from the Presiding Officer in the polling station, or you can bring your own pen with you.

There is legislation to prevent and detect tampering with ballot papers:

  • seals must be attached to ballot boxes
  • candidates and agents can be present at the close of poll and can attach their own seals if they wish
  • at the count, candidates and agents can check their seals before the ballot boxes are opened