If you are not on the electoral register, you will not be able to vote in an election or by-election.
But, no worries, because registering is simple, and takes only five minutes. Many people use the straightforward online process these days. Go to www.gov.uk/registertovote to register. (You’ll need to have your National Insurance number handy).
However, to be eligible to vote in an election, you usually need to have registered some 15 days in advance of the day, so don’t delay…
However, if you are registered to vote, you will (usually) receive a polling card more than a month in advance of election day, so keep an eye on your post.
Postal ? Proxy?
If and when you know you are definitely registered to vote, you can then consider postal voting or proxy voting if you are not sure you can get to the polling station.
A ‘postal vote’ is good for someone who has difficulty getting out & about, or who will be away on the day. It means you have to post your ballot paper beforehand, instead of having to go up to the polling station in Church Lane.
You need to fill in a form; and there is a deadline if wish to apply for a postal vote – usually some 15 days in advance of the election. Click here for the details Voting-by-post
The authority will then send you your own ballot paper, on which you mark your votes; and then you MUST post it back to arrive by election day itself.
You can also arrange for your voting to be undertaken for you at the polling station by someone else – ‘proxy voting’ – when someone you trust goes up to the polling station and fills in the ballot paper on your behalf. This is useful if you think you might well not be in Draycott on the day etc.
You need to fill in a form; and there is a deadline if wish to apply for a proxy vote – usually some 10 days in advance of the election. Click here for the details Voting-by-proxy
There is also something called ‘emergency proxy‘. This is when – at virtually the last minute – you know you will be unable to get to the polling station so you can request that someone you trust goes up to the polling station and fills in the ballot paper on your behalf. You have to apply by phone for this: on 0345 605 3015.
However, by far the most straightforward way is to go to Draycott church hall (near St Margaret’s Church) on the day and cast your vote in the traditional way. The Church Hall will be open from 7am to 10pm on election day.
Whatever you choose, good luck, and don’t forget the deadlines!
Most of the points outlined on this page are summarised on the district council’s Elections Web-Page. You may want to just check through it if you are still unsure.