Voting in May’s Local Government Elections in Wales

News | by | 11th Apr 2017

Register to Vote in May Elections. Cover image for voting article

On Thursday 4th May, local council elections will take place across Wales.

If you want to vote in local council elections you must register by Thursday 13th April 2017. If you don’t register before this deadline you won’t be allowed to vote on Thursday 4th May 2017.

How do I register to vote?

You can register to vote quick and simply online. The form will only take a few minutes and will ask you for basic information about yourself, such as your name, date of birth and address. You might also need to give them your National Insurance Number if you know it.

You will also be asked if you want to apply for a postal vote. If you want to send your vote in the post, rather than go to a polling station on the day, you will be sent a postal vote application form. Your local Electoral Registration Office must receive your application by 5pm on Tuesday 18th April 2017.

You can also register to vote through the post rather than online.

Am I already on the electoral register?

If you were registered to vote in the EU referendum last year then you don’t need to reregister for the local elections. That is unless your details have changed. So, for example, if you moved house or changed your name since then you will need to re-register.

Local councils send out polling cards before the election. Some send them well before the cut-off date to register.

If you are not sure whether you are registered to vote you can check by talking to your local electoral registration office. You can find out which office is the one you need and how to contact them here by putting in your postcode.

How do I vote in local elections?

You have three options on how you can vote – in person, send a postal vote, or by proxy.

Postal Voting

If you have registered as a postal voter (see above) you will receive your ballot card in the mail before Thursday 4th May. All you have to do is follow the instructions that come with it, seal up your vote in the secure envelope they give you and pop it back in the post. You should try to return your ballot as soon as possible. This is to make sure it gets back in time.

For your vote to be counted it needs to be back with your local electoral office before 10pm on Thursday 4th May. If you have any problems with your postal vote contact the Returning Officer at your local electoral authority. You can get a replacement up to 5pm on polling day.

Voting in person

Most people go to a polling station to vote.

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 the day of the vote. If you’ve misplaced your polling card, you can check where you should go to vote on If you have not received a polling card, contact your local council to see if you’re still on the electoral roll.

Voting by proxy

If you cannot vote in person, you can get someone to vote for you; this is called voting by proxy and  Your Vote Matters has more info about it.

If something bad happens on the day (such as being taken seriously ill), you can apply to vote by proxy for medical reasons up until 5pm on polling day. Polling stations are open between 7am and 10pm.

Cover photo credit:

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.

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