UK General Election: Do’s & Don’ts of Polling Stations


News | by | 7th Jun 2017

Welsh polling station for voting article about general election

The general election takes place this Thursday – 8th June 2017.

Unfortunately if you didn’t register to vote before Monday 22nd May 2017 you cannot take part in this election. However if you know that you are registered to vote at your current address (e.g. if you received a poll card for the local council elections on Thursday 4th May) you did not need to register again for the general election.

You should have received a polling card with details on where to vote in the post. You do not need to take your polling card with you to vote on Thursday. If you’ve misplaced your polling card, you can check where you should go to vote on wheredoivote.wales. If you have not received a polling card, contact your local council to see if you’re still on the electoral roll and can vote in the general election.

With that out of the way, we’re going to look at rules in the polling station, with a particular focus on children and families. Can you take the kids? Can they put the cross in the box? All the answers you need are below!

Rules of the polling station

Toy horse tethered for Welsh Assembly Elections article
Photo Credit: cafemama via Compfight cc

The staff at polling stations are there to ensure a fair vote, not to tell you off and most are friendly and welcoming. There are some rules though…

Children

Election day staff are under instruction to be welcoming to children and young people. They may enter the polling station and if you have a lot of children with you, staff there can oversee them when you enter the voting booth. Your son or daughter is not allowed to draw the cross on your ballot paper for you, this is something you have to do.

Your son or daughter is not allowed to draw the cross on your ballot paper for you - general election info

Animals

You can take your dog in to a polling station, as long as they do not disrupt other people. You will have to leave the horse outside though. There’s no official guidance on cats, rabbits or goldfish.

Help

If you need any advice, just ask the staff at the polling station. They are there to help you and will be happy to do so.

If you have a disability that makes it difficult for you to fill in your ballot, you can ask for help and the Presiding Officer can mark the ballot paper for you. You can also ask someone, such as a support worker or relative to help you – as long as they are either a relative or an eligible elector and have not already helped more than one other person vote.

If you have a visual impairment, you can ask to see a large print ballot paper or you can ask for a special voting device that allows you to vote on your own in secret.

How should I vote in the general election?

That is entirely up to you. But here’s why you should vote.


FamilyPoint Helpline

If there are any other problems your family is having, then call our advisors on the FamilyPoint Cymru helpline. The helpline is open 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday. They can help you to find organisations that can help.

If you liked this article there are lots more in our Magazine section:

Guest Post: Politics – Why Should I Vote?

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