Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Everything you need to know about voting in the 2019 General Election

Can you bring a dog inside the polling station? People often take photos of their pets outside. Credit: PA

Election day has finally arrived but if you've never voted before or can't remember how, you might have a few questions.

Knowing where to go and what you need to bring are important details you need to get right.

But are you allowed to bring your dogs inside? Can children come? And can you take a selfie?

Here are nine election questions you might have before casting your ballot:

  • Can you bring dogs in polling stations?
Horses have been ridden to polling stations in previous elections. Credit: PA

Sort of. Dogs are allowed at polling stations but it is likely you will be asked to leave them outside.

Owners should be mindful that other members of the public need to vote without distraction so you might be asked to keep your dog on a lead.

And in fact, it's up to each election services team to decide which animals are allowed in.

The Electoral Commission told ITV News: "This is at the discretion of the returning officer."

On a lighter note #DogsAtPollingStations - which usually trends on Facebook and Twitter - provides a brief relief from the election madness. People love to share pictures of their pets on the way to vote.

So could 2019 be the year of #HorsesAtPollingStations?

  • Are children allowed to come into the polling station?
Children are allowed to come into polling stations. Credit: PA

Children are welcome at polling stations.

However they are not allowed to mark an 'x' on a ballot paper for their parents.

As it stands, they'll have to wait until they're 18 to take part in the grand democratic exercise.

  • When can you vote?
Polling stations have strict opening and closing hours. Credit: PA

Polling stations must open at 7am on the day of the election and close at 10pm.

However, if a voter is still in the queue by 10pm they are still allowed to vote.

You must be registered to vote in order to cast your ballot and local election services will be able to check this information.

Postal votes can be handed in at polling stations if you have not been able to send it off before election day.

  • What do you need to vote?
Voters in England, Scotland and Wales do not need to bring ID. Credit: PA

Don't panic if you leave your poll card at home, it is not needed on the day.

You will however need to tell the poll clerk your name and address before you can be issued a ballot paper.

You can also bring a pen with you if you choose but pencils are provided.

Voters in England, Scotland and Wales do not need to bring ID in order to vote but those in Northern Ireland do - either a passport, driving licence, Electoral Identity Card or certain kinds of Translink Smartpass.

  • Can you vote at any polling station?
People living in the Tonbridge and Malling constituency can vote in Tonbridge Castle. Credit: ITV News

As fun as it might be to spend part of your day in a castle - a location people in the Tonbridge and Malling constituency can vote at - you have to vote at the polling station listed on your poll card.

Even if you are registered at multiple addresses, you must only vote once.

  • What does my polling station look like?
A caravan in Leicestershire was used as a polling station in the 2017 general election. Credit: PA

Caravans and even cars have been used in previous local elections and are often brought in at the last minute to help people cast their vote.

There aren't any strict rules on what can and cannot be used provided the location is accessible and ballot papers can be issued and collected.

In Scotland, however, independent schools cannot be used under the Education (Scotland) Act 1980.

To find out your nearest polling station visit The Electoral Commission website.

  • What if you can't make it to a polling station on the day?
A proxy is used to help someone vote when they are unable to get to a polling station. Credit: PA

Proxy voting is set up when you cannot vote in person and have to nominate someone you trust to do it for you.

Although the deadline for setting up a proxy has passed, you can apply for an emergency proxy up until 5pm by contacting your local electoral services team.

This is offered if you are medically unwell or cannot get to a polling station due to your job.

  • What can't you do at polling stations?
Dr Kenneth Bell voted in the European elections with his daughter Victoria on her wedding day in Co. Antrim. Credit: PA

It goes without saying, you cannot vote twice in the same election.

But there are some rules you might not have heard of.

Dressing in a Jeremy Corbyn jumper or declaring you're Boris Johnson's biggest fan on a t-shirt will get you turned away at the door this election.

And the only people allowed to wear rosettes are candidates and their team.

However, campaigning on the day is strictly prohibited.

The Electoral Commission ask voters to not dress in a way that would intimidate others trying to exercise their right to vote.

  • Can you take selfies?
The Electoral Commission advise you don't take selfies. Credit: PA

Taking a selfie could lead to a telling off and potentially a £5,000 fine.

Because polling stations hold highly confidential information, it is advised that you do not take photos inside.

Sharing someone else's vote is illegal.