Voting Times

There will be nearly 40,000 polling stations open tomorrow from 7am until 10pm. The deadline for voter registration has passed and all those voting should have received their poll cards at least one week prior to the election date of May 7th. Voters will need to have their card with them when heading to the polling station to vote.

Polling hours have been standardised since 1885 and originally the hours were from 8am until 8pm. They were changed to 7am through 10pm in 1970. Local authorities determine the location of each polling station in their direct areas and they are typically found in schools and village halls but they can also be found in pubs, fish-and-chip shops and other markets.

Mandatory Public Notice

Public notice known as 'Guidance for Voters' must be displayed inside as well as outside of each polling station and can be in many different languages as the local official determines necessary. Inside the station, the notice must be only one that explains in detail how to utilize the voting station to cast a vote.

Once voters receive their poll card they will be given a ballot paper to mark their vote. Ballot papers list each candidate in alphabetical order and the paper must have an official stamp that will be visible from both sides of the ballot. Every individual ballot paper will also have a serial number that would make it possible to track a person to ensure they have not voted more than once.

All ballots are held for one year and then disposed of.

Access to Ballot Boxes

Ballot boxes are locked when the polls open and an official will seal them when the polls close for the day.

The media has no access to enter polling stations unless they are voting. Aside from those voting the only people authorised to enter a station are candidates, polling agents and election agents, on-duty police officers, Electoral Commission representatives, the Returning Officer and staff members and minor children with an adult voter or companions assisting voters that are disabled.

Casting your vote

There has long been an intense rivalry between countries to see who can announce their election results first. Millions are expected to vote in the election so heading to the polls as early as possible is wisely suggested. Polling stations close at 10pm, but those that receive their ballots by 10pm will still be able to vote. This, however, does not mean to arrive at 10pm and expect to receive a ballot as the ballot must be acquired by 10pm and there will be most likely be many in line at that time.