Various local elections are taking place across England, Scotland and Wales today, Thursday May 6.
Depending on where you live, you may be asked to vote for your local councillors, mayor and/or police and crime commissioner.
Around 48 million people will take to the polling stations today – some for the very first time.
Others may just want a reminder of the voting procedure after you’ve registered and been sent your polling card.
We’ve compiled a handy guide on how to vote in the local elections – including what you need to bring with you. Here is everything you need to know.
How to vote in the local elections
In order to vote in the local elections, you need to register to vote.
The deadline for 2021 has passed, but you can still register to vote in upcoming elections.
You also need to check that you’re eligible to vote, which you can do if you’re:
- 18 years old in England and Northern Ireland
- 16 years old in Scottish Parliament and local elections (and other elections when you’re 18)
- 16 years old in Welsh Parliament elections (and other elections when you’re 18)
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You must also be registered at an address in the area you want to vote in, and not be legally excluded from voting.
You can vote if you’re a British citizen, as well as an EU or qualifying Commonwealth citizen.
You can also vote if you’re a citizen of another country who is living in Scotland or Wales who has permission to stay in the UK, or does not need permission.
What do you need to bring to the polling station?
If you’re voting at a polling station, there are a few things you need to remember.
Firstly, you don’t need to bring your polling card, but it may help to speed up the process if you do.
If you live in England, Scotland or Wales you don’t need to bring your ID.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, there are a few changes you do need to be aware of.
In order to vote safely, you need to wear a face covering, unless exempt.
You are also encouraged to bring your own pen or pencil – but there will be clean ones available if you forget.
You’ll also be encouraged to use hand sanitiser when you arrive, and when you leave.
How to vote
Before election day, you should have received a polling card with instructions on where your dedicated polling station is.
When you arrive you will give your name and address to the polling staff, and will be given a ballot paper, or papers.
What you will vote on depends on the type of election being held in your area.
Read the instructions carefully – because in some elections you will be asked to choose more than one candidate.
Take your ballot paper to one of the private booths, and mark your vote.
Put your ballot in the ballot box once you have made your choice.