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How to VOTE

Don’t Waste Your Vote! – put disabled people first!

voteThursday 22nd May 2014 local and European elections will be taking place across the UK.

Everyone over the age of 18 and registered to vote will be able to have your say in who gets to represent you in both the European Parliament and on your local Council.

It is important that everyone who can vote does vote.

Disabled people and the poorest in society are being hit by the cuts more than other groups of people.

Research has shown that disabled people with the highest levels of support are being hit nineteen times harder than the average person.

This is not fair.

If we want to stop what is happening and build a fairer society we need to use every opportunity we have to put pressure on the politicians.

Voting is one important way to do this.

You may not think that any of the political parties fully represent your views but different parties stand for different things.

If you don’t vote you can’t have a say in decisions that affect your life and the politicians will have no reason to change their policies.

To find out more about how to vote in a polling station please download this step by step guide.

How to Vote

Registration to vote for the upcoming European Parliament and local elections closed on Wednesday.

If you have registered to vote you will have already received your polling card for the elections on May 22.

The poll card is for information only, and you do not need it to vote. As long as you are registered, you can simply give the polling station staff your name and address.

Polling stations are usually in local schools or other community buildings. Each station covers its local neighbourhood. You have to vote at the polling station for the address where you are registered. You cannot vote at any other station. You can check where your own station is by using the online polling station finder at https://www.bromley.gov.uk/info/200033/councillors_democracy_and_elections/984/elections_2014


 In the polling station: a step by step guide


Step 1: Tellers

The first people you will probably see at the polling station are the candidates’ helpers taking elector numbers (this is on your poll card). They are there to check that their supporters are voting.


The Returning Officer recognises that tellers are a proper part of the election process. However, they are not part of the polling station staff; they should not get in the way of voters going in or out. Tellers should only ask for your elector number when you leave. The candidates and their appointed agents are allowed in the polling station, but only to observe correct procedures are being followed.


Step 2: Please go to the right tablehelp make decision

In the bigger polling stations there will be more than one table issuing ballot papers.

Your poll card, posters and staff will show you which table is yours.

If there is a queue please be patient – the staff have to make sure the proper procedure is being followed, and this cannot be rushed.


Step 3: Confirm your name and address   

Polling station staff will ask for your name and address, and check that you are on the voters list. You will be asked to confirm your details even if you have handed over your poll card. This is to make sure the right person is marked off the list – some voters, by mistake, hand in the card for someone else in their household.


Your name will be crossed off the voters list to make sure you cannot vote again.

Because the poll card has your personal details, the staff will give your card back to you, rather than put it in a bin.


Step 4: Take your ballot paper(s)

The staff will hand over your ballot paper for each election you are allowed to vote in. Ballot papers are no longer stamped to make them official – security designs are now printed on the back.

Go into a voting booth on your own and mark your vote(s) with a cross (X).

It is a secret vote, so the staff will step in if two or more people are discussing how to vote in the same booth.


Step 5: In the box

Fold your ballot paper and put it in the correct ballot box, then leave the station.

If you have any questions or special needs, please ask the polling station staff. They are there to help you.