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Local Elections: Everything You Need To Know

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Image asking whether you've voted yet.The UK Local Elections are taking place on 6th May. This will be your chance to have your say and cast your vote for the candidates which best represent your views and perspectives. 

You’ve probably heard lots of information about larger scale General Elections, but perhaps you haven’t heard as much about local Elections. So what does this all mean, what positions are you voting for and what are the deadlines?

We’ve put together some useful FAQs to hopefully clear a few things up:

You can vote in the Local Elections if you are:

  • Registered to vote
  • Aged 18 or over (16 or over in Scotland and Wales – for certain Elections)
  • Registered at an address in the area you’re voting in
  • A British, Irish or EU Citizen living in the UK
  • a Commonwealth citizen who has permission to enter or stay in the UK, or who does not need permission
  • a citizen of another country living in Scotland or Wales who has permission to enter or stay in the UK, or who does not need permission

Read more on the Gov.uk website.

In this Election the specific roles up for election will vary by region, but will include:

You can visit the ‘Who Can I Vote For?’ website to find out and learn each role.

By voting you will be able to impact many of the services you see and use every day. Local Councillors and Mayors have control over housing, highways, transport, services, healthcare, education and much more. Police and Crime Commissioners will be responsible for setting budgets, creating plans to manage crime and providing general oversight of your local police force.

So it’s always a good idea to research the candidates for your area to ensure you know who will best represent you and the key issues you’re passionate about. It’s so important to use your voice and have your say, as this will influence decision-making on policing and local legislation.

Register to vote online by 11:59pm on 19th

  • The pandemic may mean that more of you would like to apply for a Postal Vote. If this is the case you must first register to vote online by 19th April, and then complete and return your postal vote paperwork to your Electoral Office before:
    • 20th April at 5pm, if you’re in England or Wales
    • 6th April at 5pm, if you’re in Scotland

Learn more about applying for a postal vote.

If you’re unable to vote in person on 6th May, you can ask someone to vote for you – this is called a Proxy vote. If this is the best option for you, make sure you send your Proxy Voting Application Form to your local Electoral Office by the 27th of April at 5pm. 

You can also apply for an emergency proxy vote if something unexpected happens after the deadline.

I’m not sure if I’ll be at home or Uni on 6th May.

Yes, you can be registered to vote in more than one location – i.e. at both your university and home address. As this is a local election, you are also legally allowed to vote in both locations so long as they are different elections. For example, if your home address was in London, you could vote in the elections there and the elections in Birmingham.

If you’re not sure, register again. You can always register in two places!

Polling day is 6th May and polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm. 

Have more questions? Head to Gov.uk and the Electoral Commission’s website for more information.

 

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