Local elections 2023: how to find your polling station - opening and closing times and can you vote anywhere?

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Voters across England and Northern Ireland will be heading to the polls this Thursday for local elections

Voters in England and Northern Ireland are preparing to head to the polls for local elections on Thursday, 4 May.

Polls will open for a range of ballots, including mayoral races and choosing councillors. However, there have been concerns new rules about polling stations requiring voter ID may be overwhelming for some.

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Thursday marks the first time voter ID will be required for UK voters to cast their vote in an election. But before voter ID can be considered, voters will need to know where they are heading in order to cast their important vote.

Here's everything you need to know about where you can find your polling station.

How do I find where my polling station is?

Venues such as churches, schools and community centres across England and Northern Ireland will be hosting polling stations on Thursday 4 May.

The address of your polling station will be listed on your polling card. However, in the case where you have misplaced or have not received your polling card, you can also double check the location of your polling station on the Electoral Commission website by entering your post code.

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Here's where to find out where your polling station is for the local elections 2023. (Credit: Getty Images)Here's where to find out where your polling station is for the local elections 2023. (Credit: Getty Images)
Here's where to find out where your polling station is for the local elections 2023. (Credit: Getty Images) | Getty Images

Can you vote at any polling station?

You must vote at the polling station you are registered at. Upon entering you will need to give staff details such as your address and photo ID.

If your address is not on the list of the polling station you are attempting to vote at, you will not be able to cast your vote. You must be registered to vote for your address to be on the list - if it is not, you are either not registered or at the wrong polling station.

In the case of an emergency on voting day which will leave you unable to cast your vote in person at a polling station, you can apply for an emergency proxy vote up until 5pm on election day. The person you choose to make your proxy vote must be registered themselves and have a photo ID.

What time will polling stations open and close?

As per all elections, polling stations in the UK are open from 7am until 10pm on election day. This window should give plenty of time to cast your vote, but if you do find that your polling station is busy then still join the queue.

The Electoral Commission has confirmed that if you are in the queue when the polls officially close at 10pm, you will still be able to cast your vote.

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