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How can I vote in the May elections?

  • 4 min read

Voters in England will go to the polls on 2 May to elect more than 2,600 councillors and 10 metro mayors, in the last set of local elections before the general one.

Labour and the Conservatives are defending just under 1,000 seats each, the Liberal Democrats about 400, and the Greens just over 100.

Police and crime commissioners in England and Wales are also up for election.

How can I vote in the May elections?

There are three ways to vote:

  • aged 18 or over
  • registered at an address in the area where they want to vote
  • a British citizen, an Irish or EU citizen or eligible Commonwealth citizen
  • not legally excluded from voting

Voters in some areas will have several ballot papers, for the different elections taking place.

In council elections, voters generally have one vote for each available seat in an election area – known as a ward or division. However, some large wards have several seats.

As in a general election, whoever receives the most votes wins.

For the first time, mayors and police and crime commissioners will also be elected under the first-past-the-post system.

When do I need to register to vote by?

To vote in person in England and Wales, you must be registered by 23:59 BST on Tuesday 16 April.

4 Reasons Why You Should Vote!

1. Elections have consequences. Every vote matters.

You have the power to make key decisions on the quality of life you want for yourself, your family, and your community. Voting is your chance to stand up for the issues you care about like affordable housing, economic justice, environmental protection, and quality education.

2. It’s your money.

One way or the other, every person in our community pays taxes – both citizens and non-citizens. And yet, most people don’t know how that money is being used. Voting is your chance to choose how your taxes are spent, such as additional funding for health care and social services. This happens both through your vote on specific propositions and ballot measures, as well as those we elect to leadership positions that commit to supporting key social services in our communities.

3. Voting is an opportunity for change.

Do you want to make a positive impact in your community? Voting gives you that chance! There are many social issues affected by elections, including (but not limited to) gay marriage, environmental issues, public education, etc. Social issues affect everyone in one way or another. To have a say in who gets to determine social agendas, it’s essential to vote.

4. The community depends on you!

Our communities are made up of family, friends, loved ones, neighbors, and children. Some may not know how important voting is, while others cannot vote. Make the decision to vote to be a voice for yourself and those around you.

Decide who makes the decisions on the issues you care about.

Voting gives you the power to decide how the UK is run. The MPs you help to elect will be making decisions on issues that you care about, including NHS, Housing, Education and the Environment.

By voting in the election you can support a candidate who will represent your views in parliament, and can influence the policy issues you care about. An election is also your chance to speak out if you have a complaint about the way the country is being run. Remember, voting is not the only way to participate but it’s the quickest and easiest way!

If you don’t vote, you’ll have had no say over who will be making decisions on the issues important to you.

Murat Metin

UK Immigration Advisor

Regulated to provide immigration advice services by the Immigration Services Commissioner. Ref No. F202000206