Who is eligible to vote?

Only people whose names appear on the electoral register are entitled to vote in elections.

To vote in elections you must:

  • Be 18 years or over on the day of the elections.

  • Be a British, Commonwealth, Irish or European Union citizen.

  • Not be subject to any legal incapacity to vote such as being in prison.

  • European Union citizens (other than British or Irish citizens) are only entitled to vote at local elections and European Parliamentary elections. They cannot vote at UK Parliamentary elections.

British citizens living abroad can register as overseas electors and vote at UK and European Parliamentary elections for 15 years after they leave the country.  Overseas electors cannot vote in local elections.

Service personnel can register as ordinary elections or complete a Service Voter application form.

How can I Vote?

There are a number of ways that you can vote.

  • Go along to the polling station specified on the polling card which will be posted out to you before the election. Hours of poll are 7am until 10pm.

  • Vote by post and a ballot paper will be posted out to you before the day of the election. You can then mark your vote in secret and post it back to us in time to be included in the count.

  • Vote by proxy, where you can appoint someone to vote on your behalf.

  • If you are going on holiday or work away from home and will not be at your home address on the day of the election, please contact Electoral Services on 0115 9071190 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as soon as possible for further advice on postal and proxy voting.

Proxy Votes

As an alternative to voting by post, you can appoint someone to vote on your behalf at the relevant Polling Station, this is called a Proxy vote. Applications must be made before an election is held, normally 5pm, 6 working days before an election. The person you wish to appoint as your proxy can only act as proxy if they are 18 or over and, in England, Scotland and Wales, they are (or will be) registered individually.

What if I miss the deadline but can't go to my polling station?

If you have a medical emergency after the deadline, you can apply to vote by emergency proxy if the emergency means that you cannot go to the polling station in person.

You can also apply to vote by emergency proxy if your occupation, service or employment means that you cannot go to the polling station in person, and you only become aware of that fact after the deadline.

You can apply for an emergency proxy vote up to 5pm on polling day.

If you require an application form please call 0115 9071190 or visit the Your Vote Matters website (opens in a new window) to download a form.

Once the form is completed please return it to Electoral Registration Officer, Town Hall, Wharncliffe Road, Ilkeston, Derbyshire DE7 5RP.

For general information on Elections and the Electoral process, visit The Electoral Commission (opens in a new window) website.

Postal Votes

If you are unable to go to your Polling Station on Election Day you can apply for a postal vote to enable you to vote by post. Applications must be made before an election is held.

If you require an application form please telephone 0115 9071190 or download a form (opens in a new window).

After completing the form, you’ll need to print it, sign it, and send it back to Electoral Registration Officer, Town Hall, Wharncliffe Road, Ilkeston, Derbyshire DE7 5RP.

Why do I need to sign my form?

You need to sign your application form personally because the electoral registration office needs a copy of your signature for voting security reasons. We know it’s slightly less convenient than submitting it online, but it helps to ensure the security of your vote and is used to tackle electoral fraud.

Where can I get my postal vote sent?

A postal vote can be sent to your home address or any other address that you give.

Postal votes can be sent overseas, but you need to consider whether there will be enough time to receive and return your ballot paper by election day.

When will I receive my ballot papers?

Postal vote packs are usually sent out about a week before election day.

Once you’ve got it, mark your vote on the ballot paper and make sure you send it back so that it arrives by 10pm on the day of the election or referendum). If it arrives later than this, your vote won’t be counted.

Voting by Electors with Disabilities

We try to ensure that all polling stations are as accessible as possible for electors with disabilities by using temporary ramps, alternative entrances and removing any potential hazards.
Electoral services are continuously looking for alternative venues that could be used as polling stations to make access as easy as possible for all electors.  Assistance to gain access to any of our polling stations will be available from the polling staff at any time during polling hours.

To assist voters with disabilities, each polling station will have:

  • A large print version of the ballot paper(s) for the election(s) taking place.

  • A wider and lower polling booth for voters with disabilities.

  • A selecting device for voters with visual impairments to assist them when marking their ballot paper.

Any voter with any disability can ask for assistance in marking their vote.  This assistance can come from the presiding officer or a companion of the voter. Anyone who assists the voter must maintain the secrecy of that vote.