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Parliamentary election guide – make sure your voice is heard

12 May 2017

Voters in South Derbyshire are being urged to make sure they have their say when it comes to electing their next MP.

Those living in the District and registered to vote will go to the polls in the Parliamentary election on Thursday, 8 June 2017.

Registering to vote takes less than five minutes by providing your name, address, date of birth and National Insurance Number. The deadline for doing so for the upcoming election is Monday, May 22.

Register to vote.

Failure to register will mean you will not be able to vote at the Parliamentary election.

You can also register to vote by post by downloading and completing the form on our elections page, or you can request a form by calling South Derbyshire District Council’s Electoral Registration Office on tel: 01283 595723 or tel: 01283 595875. The deadline for applying for a postal vote is 5pm on Tuesday, 23 May 2017.

Returning Officer Frank McArdle said: “Being able to vote is a fundamental part of democracy and we’re determined to do all we can to make sure people in South Derbyshire are able to exercise their right to vote at every opportunity.

“There is a raft of useful information available at the Your vote matters website, and of course anyone who can’t find the answer to their questions there is welcome to get in touch with the elections team at the council if they have any further queries.”

View the election timetable.

Useful information before polling day

Make sure you vote in time

  • Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm on Thursday, 8 June 2017. You must have applied to register to vote by midnight on 22 May 2017.
  • Your poll card will have been sent to the address where you are registered. It will advise where your polling station is situated. You are only able to vote at the polling station stated on your poll card.
  • Plan what time you will be able to cast your vote at the polling station, leaving plenty of time before the 10pm deadline.
  • If you are in a queue at your polling station at 10pm you will still be able to vote.
  • If you arrive at the polling station after 10pm then the poll will be closed and you will have missed your chance to take part.

Postal voting

  • If you have a postal vote, make sure it is returned by 10pm on June 8. Postal votes that arrive after that time on June 8 will not be counted.
  • If you have not had time to post it before polling day, then you can take it to the polling station on polling day and hand it in.

Proxy voting

  • If you have appointed a proxy, then they need to make sure they are able to vote at the correct polling station on your behalf. Find out how to appoint a proxy. The deadline for doing so is 5pm on Wednesday, May 31, 2017.
  • If you are suddenly unable to vote in person because you have a medical emergency which prevents you from attending on polling day, or 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, then you may be entitled to appoint an emergency proxy.
  • You can apply for an emergency proxy up until 5pm on polling day. You should contact the elections office directly to ask about this.

What you need to take with you to vote

  • Just yourself! You can take your poll card with you to show the polling station staff when you arrive. They will still ask for you to confirm your name and address. If you don’t have it with you, just tell the polling station staff your name and your address and they can check whether you’re on the register.

Social media

  • Social media is a great way to let your friends and family know you have voted and to encourage them to do the same. Use Twitter, Facebook and any other social media accounts you have to get the message out there.

How to fill out your ballot paper

  • The staff at the polling station will give you a ballot paper listing the candidates you can vote for. Staff will be on hand to provide advice on the voting process.
  • If you are disabled, you can ask the Presiding Officer for help and they can mark the ballot paper for you. You can also ask someone else to help you (eg a support worker, as long as they are either a relative or an eligible elector).
  • If you have a visual impairment, you can ask to see a large print ballot paper or you can ask for a special voting device that allows you to vote on your own in secret.
  • Take your ballot paper into a polling booth so that no-one can see how you vote. Read the ballot paper carefully. Do not write anything else on the paper or your vote may not be counted.
  • Mark your ballot paper according to the instructions. A pencil will be provided for you to do this, but you may use your own pen if you prefer.
  • If you make a mistake on your ballot paper, don’t worry. As long as you haven’t already put it in the ballot box, just let the polling station staff know and they can advise.
  • Fold your completed ballot paper in half and pop it in the ballot box.