Exercise your right to vote

Tomorrow, Thursday, is election day in the UK. If you are in the UK and have a vote, we hope you will use it. They say every vote counts. If you wish to express your support for a party or disgust at another, then this is your small chance to be involved in the ‘democracy’ of this country.

Here are a few things to know:

  • if you are going to a polling station, make sure you go to the right one.
  • check the opening times, usually 7am to 10pm. They will get busy, especially in the evening after work, so if you can go at a quiet time it will save you time.
  • if you have a poll card (well, letter) take it if you can. It saves a lot of time and aggravation.
  • it’s not a secret ballot. You have an electoral register number and the voting form has a number and they are recorded, so someone could track your vote if they really wanted to.
  • you need photo id. You cannot vote without it. There is a long list of acceptable photo id, including passports (current or expired), driving licences and travel passes (we used Freedom Passes at the last election).
  • don’t take anything you don’t need, especially cameras.
  • you are voting for your local MP. The country is not run by a president, and you are not voting for Sir Keir Starmer or Rishi Sunak or whoever unless you are in their constituency. You are voting for the best representative for you. You may support party X but feel that the person from party Y is the best for your area.
  • no-one asks you why you voted for which choice.
  • if you are leaving the polling station and people ask who you voted for or your number, you don’t have to answer.
  • if you don’t like any of the choices, don’t not go. Do go, and indicate this on the ballot form. A spoiled paper will always be noted.
  • our experience of the polling stations is that the people there, volunteers, are hugely helpful so if you have a problem, do ask.
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