Voting in person
If you are registered to vote, you will vote in your local polling station unless you have successfully applied for a postal vote.
Where do I vote?
You will receive a polling card/letter about 2 to 3 weeks before the election. This letter will tell you the name and address of your polling station and a list of photographic ID which will be accepted at the polling station.
You can also find your polling station by using our polling station finder. Polling stations in Southend are usually based in community locations such as community centres, schools and other public buildings.
All polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm.
What do I need to bring?
On polling day you will need to bring one acceptable form of photographic ID to the polling station to be able to get your ballot paper to vote. If you do not bring photo ID to the polling station you will not be able to vote.
Whatever form of ID you bring it must be the original, no copies will be accepted.
If you have your polling card, take it with you as it helps the staff to find your name. However it is not essential, and you can vote without it.
What photographic ID is accepted?
What happens if I don't have photographic ID?
If you do not have one of the acceptable forms of Photo ID listed you will be able to apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate.
How do I vote in person?
Use your polling card to find your polling station or use our polling station finder. Remember your photo ID or Voter Authority Certificate. Originals only, copies will not be accepted. The station will be marked clearly with signs. Polling stations open at 7am and close at 10pm. When you arrive at the polling station:
- Have your photographic ID ready, go to the desk and tell the staff your name and address and present your ID.
- The staff will check your details and give you a ballot paper. (When more than one election is held, you will be given more than one ballot paper).
- Take your ballot paper to a voting booth.
- Read the instructions in the booth and mark your ballot paper with your vote.
- When you have marked your ballot paper, place it in the ballot box and leave the station promptly.
At larger stations, there will be more than one desk. Look for your street name on the posters at the entrance to the station to find the right desk.
If you need any help or equipment to be able to vote, please ask one of our polling station staff who will be happy to help.
Avoid taking dogs to the polling station, unless you have someone who can stay and look after them, as it is not advisable to tie your dog up alone outside a polling station.
Remember; it's your vote and only your vote.
Busiest times at the polling station are usually morning (before regular working hours and around the time of the school run), in the evening and just before 10pm. If you are in a queue (which you joined before 10pm) at 10pm you will still be able to vote.
Who are the people outside the polling station?
When you go to vote you may see a person (or people) standing outside a polling station who may approach you and ask for a number on your polling card. These people are called tellers.
Tellers are not staff employed by the polling station; they have no legal status and voters have the right to refuse to give them any information.
These people are usually volunteers/supporters for candidates or may even be a candidate themselves. Sometimes tellers may be wearing political party rosettes.
They stand outside polling stations and try to record the electoral number of electors who have voted. By identifying electors who have not voted and relaying this information to the candidate or their supporters, they may then knock on the doors of people who have not yet been to vote during polling day and encourage them to vote.
A short video explaining what will happen at the polling station is available in British Sign Language (BSL) on YouTube.