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How and where to vote

We send a poll card to all qualified electors before each election. This tells you when, where and how to vote.

You can only vote if you are on the electoral register.

Find out if you are eligible to vote (GOV.UK)


Vote at a polling station

Polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm on the day of an election ("polling day").

Go to your polling station, give your name and address, and you will be given a ballot paper.

You do not need to take your poll card with you.

Find your polling station

Your poll card also tells you where your polling station is.


Vote by post

You can vote by post rather than going to your polling station. If you have a postal vote, you can’t vote at a polling station.

Download a Postal Vote Application Form (please print with Page Scaling set to "None").


Vote by proxy

If you can’t go to your polling station you can apply to vote by proxy. This means that someone can vote on your behalf. This is useful if you are overseas and it would be difficult to return your postal vote in time.

Your proxy must be legally able to vote and they cannot vote on behalf of more than two people unless they are closely related to them.

If you want to vote by proxy you can download a proxy application form. Please make sure you print with the page scaling set to "None".

You have to give a reason for a proxy application. If applying for a long-term proxy you also normally need to have it countersigned. An emergency proxy vote application must be countersigned.


People with disabilities

Most of our polling stations are wheelchair accessible.

Inside the polling station are large print versions of the ballot paper. Voters with poor eyesight can use a special device to help them mark their vote.

There is also at least one booth that is accessible to wheelchairs.

Any voter who has poor eyesight or other physical disability, or who is unable to read, can ask the presiding officer in the polling station to allow a companion to help them.

The companion must be a close relative over 18 or a person who is entitled to vote at the election. The presiding officer can do the same things to help. Everyone has to follow legal rules to maintain the secrecy of the person’s vote.

Overseas voters

If you move abroad you can usually register as an overseas voter for up to 15 years after leaving the UK – see Voting if you move or live abroad (GOV.UK). You can vote by post or proxy, if you’re eligible. 

Who you can vote for

You can find the list of candidates in a "Statement of Persons Nominated" on our Official Notices page after the deadline for nominations has closed. More information is available on the independent Who Can I Vote For website (Merton Council is not responsible for this website).

It is up to the parties and the candidates to send you information. Sometimes they may not do so. You need to contact them if you have heard nothing. Our Electoral Services staff cannot send you any information that may favour one candidate over another. For some elections - for example, for the Mayor of London - you may be sent information about all the candidates.

What happens to your ballot paper

Ballot papers and the lists of electors are sealed up separately at the close of the poll and are held securely. The ballot papers are then counted. After that, they can only be opened if a High Court orders it. Even in this case, the law prevents an individual elector's vote from being disclosed.