Everyone in the UK has a local council and an MP who sits in the UK Parliament.
Depending on where you live you may also be represented by devolved bodies such as National Assembly for Wales.
When you vote, you decide who represents you and makes decisions on your behalf about a whole range of topics from roads and recycling in your area, to education and climate change.
There are different types of election:
What happens leading up to an election or referendum?
Candidates (the people who want you to vote for them) will normally campaign prior to an election, encouraging you to register to vote and providing information regarding their policies (what they want to achieve if they win).
Approximately 24 working days before poll day a poll card will be issued to you and it will include details such as:
- your polling station
- your elector number
- our (Electoral Registration Office) contact details
- the date of poll day
- polling station opening and closing times
- instructions on how to vote
Please check your poll card to confirm that you will be using the right method to vote i.e. by post, by proxy or in person.
If you have registered to vote by post we will issue you a poll card stating that you are a postal voter.
Your ballot papers will then be sent to you in the post within 10 working days of poll day.
If you have registered to vote via proxy (someone votes for you), a poll card will be sent to your proxy person and a confirmation letter will be sent to you stating who will be voting on your behalf.
If you would like to change the method in which you vote please contact us.
Please be aware that it is not always possible to answer your queries immediately but we aim to answer telephone queries within 5 working days. Any written queries will be within 10 working days.