Whether you’re for or against the European Union (EU), whatever you do it’s vital to register your right to vote as that will allow you to tell the Government what you think.
The main purpose of this post is to help raise awareness of the voting process, how to go about registering to vote if you’re not registered and what to do if you’re going to be away from your home constituency on the day of the Referendum.
It’s possible to vote in person, by post or by proxy where someone votes on your behalf. Full details of these procedures can be found on The Electoral Commission’s website which explains how to register and vote.
For those going to a polling station, on your arrival, a clerk will check your details against the Electoral Register and give you a ballot paper listing the referendum options posed as a question which will ask whether you want to remain or leave the EU.
As only individually and correctly registered electors are entitled to vote, using the Electoral Commission Register to Vote postcode checker gives your local Electoral Registration Office full contact details. For Sheffield residents, the contact details are:
- Electoral Registration Officer, Sheffield City Council, Town Hall, Pinstone Street, S1 2HY
- Phone: 0114 273 4093
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: sheffield.gov.uk
If, for whatever reason, voting in person is inconvenient, it is now possible to vote by post or by proxy provided you’re registered under the new system which came into effect last year.
Anyone wanting to vote by post must complete and return their original and signed application form – at least 11 working days before the poll and usually by 5pm.
Unsigned forms for postal applications will be rejected because of the security precautions to protect your voting rights. Your postal vote can be sent to your home or elsewhere including overseas but it must arrive back by 10pm on the polling day.
Visit The Electoral Commission’s webpage for its guidance on postal voting.
People who want to vote by proxy must give a reason and the person appointed to act as your proxy voter must be registered to vote. People who are unable to go to the polling station on the election day who would be entitled to apply for a proxy vote include:
- you are away on holiday
- a physical condition
- an educational course
- British Citizen living overseas
- Crown Servant or a member of HM Armed Forces
You may need to get someone to support your application for a proxy vote and the deadline is normally 5pm six working days before an election. In exceptional cases it may be possible to apply for an emergency proxy vote up to 5pm on the polling day.