Guidance for voters

Protect your right to vote

It's your vote and you can make sure you cast it in the way you prefer.

Here are some guidelines to help you protect your right to vote.

Family members and friends

It's OK for family members and friends to:

  • discuss how they will vote and their reasons for voting
  • give you their opinion about how they think you should vote
  • put your sealed postal ballot pack in a post box if you cannot do it yourself
  • help you to get to the polling station
  • assist you in voting under certain circumstances (for example, if you have a disability and with the permission of the staff at the polling station. Otherwise, the staff can provide assistance if required). Any family or friends will need to sign a form stating they helped you to vote.

It's not OK for family members and friends to:

  • force you to vote in a particular way or stop you from voting
  • take your postal ballot paper away from you, watch you complete your ballot paper; or ask to see it when you have completed it
  • cast your vote for you (pretending to be you). This includes:
    • marking your ballot paper for you or signing on your behalf
    • casting a vote for you just because you are away or incapacitated – even if they think they know how you want to vote or you have said it would be ok

It’s OK for campaigners to:

  • explain their party or candidate’s policies to you
  • encourage you to vote for their party or candidate
  • encourage you not to vote for another party or candidate
  • explain how the electoral registration or voting process works, including how to vote by post
  • provide you with an electoral registration form or an application form for a proxy or postal vote
  • give you advice about how to fill in an electoral registration form or an application form to apply for a proxy or postal vote

It’s not OK for campaigners to:

  • force you to vote in a particular way or stop you from voting
  • offer to reward you for voting for them (for example, with money, food, gifts, a job, or some other incentive)
  • watch you while you complete your postal ballot paper
  • take your postal ballot paper from you, especially if you have not voted and sealed the ballot paper in the official envelope
  • take your completed postal ballot pack away to deliver on your behalf, unless the Returning Officer has agreed that it would be OK for them to help you
  • get in the way or stop you from getting into the polling station to vote
Postal and proxy votes

Please see the Register to vote page.

This page includes guidance on applying for a postal vote if you cannot visit your polling station on the day of the election; or a proxy vote if you want someone to vote on your behalf.

Electoral fraud

If you have evidence that electoral fraud has been committed, you should contact the police as quickly as possible using the non-emergency number 101. You should be prepared to give them a statement and any evidence you have.

If you are worried about giving your name to the police, you can also report electoral fraud anonymously by contacting CrimeStoppers by phone on 0800 555 111 or online at 

If you think electoral fraud may have been committed, you should first speak to the Electoral Registration Officer or Returning Officer for your local area. Contact them through Customer Services on 01664 502502.

They may be able to explain whether or not electoral fraud has been committed and can refer your concerns to the police if necessary. They can also provide you with details of the police contact for the relevant police force so that you can report the allegation yourself.

Last updated 11 June 2024
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