What you need to know about the local elections

Here are some useful points about the local elections that will be taking place on 2 May.

Parish and town council elections

All seats on town and parish in Uttlesford are up for election at the same time as the District Council - so none of the existing parish or town councillors will remain councillors unless they stand again as candidates.

Not all of the local councils will end up having an election (strictly called a poll), as this depends on whether there are more candidates for the town or parish council than there are seats on it.

If there is a poll for your parish or town council, this will be indicated on your poll card and you will be given a separate ballot paper in the polling station, or sent the parish ballot paper as well as the district one if you have a postal vote.

Where there are fewer or the same number of candidates as seats, the candidates elected are those whose names are put forward as validly nominated.

Make sure you are registered to vote

All you need is 5 minutes and your National Insurance number to register to vote in the 2019 local elections.

If you are not already registered to vote you can apply online. It's simple, quick and secure.

You can apply to register via the government website. Remember to have your national insurance number to hand before you start. If you prefer, you can also download a paper registration form to complete and return in person or by post.

Register to vote

To vote in the upcoming local elections on 2 May, you will need to have registered by 12 April.

When you move house within the district you need to re-register by visiting government website where you can enter the details of your new address and provide us with the details of the address you have moved from.

How to vote

In the UK, there are three different ways you can vote:

  • In person at a polling station
  • By post
  • By proxy (someone voting on your behalf)

How you vote is up to you. Most people vote at a polling station. If you are not able to go to the polling station on election day, you can apply to vote by post or by proxy.

Find out more about the ways of voting, or how to apply for a postal or proxy vote on our postal and proxy voting page or on the Your Vote Matters website.

Postal and proxy voting

Information for voters - how to apply for a postal or proxy vote

• Use the postal or proxy voting forms available on our Postal and proxy voting page
• Email elections@uttlesford.gov.uk and ask for a postal or proxy vote application form to be sent, but make sure you state your full name and your address
• You can also telephone us on 01799 510510 to get one
• You can also write to us at the following address:
Uttlesford District Council
Council Offices
London Road
Saffron Walden
CB11 4ER

To enable your application to be completed in time for the district and parish elections on 2 May 2019, your completed application form must be returned to Electoral Services by no later than:

Postal votes - 5.00 pm Monday, 15 April 2019

Proxy votes - 5.00 pm Wednesday, 24 April 2019

When will my postal vote pack be sent out? 

Will you be away when your postal vote pack arrives?  These are the dates when postal votes are being sent out:

If your application is returned to us in time to include you on the postal voting list by 22 March, please note your postal ballot packs will be posted to you by 1st class mail on or about 12 April.

If your application is returned to us after 22 March, please note your postal ballot packs will be sent out by 1st class mail on or about 23 April.

The postal ballot packs should arrive a day or so after posting, so please bear in mind these anticipated dates if you will be away from home.

Poll cards and polling stations

If you're registered to vote you will receive a poll card before the election telling you when to vote and where your polling station is.

You don't need to bring your poll card along with you when you vote but it does help the staff at the polling station.

If you have applied for a postal vote you will also sent a card. This is just to advise you about the election.

On polling day

Polling day for the Local Government Elections will be 2 May 2019. You poll card will tell you when you can vote and where your polling station is. Polling stations are open 7 am to 10 pm for all elections. We have a list and map of all the polling stations in the district on our Polling stations and polling districts page. 

At the polling station

All polling stations should have signage telling you where the station is. When you get to your polling station, hand over your poll card (if you have taken it with you) to one of the polling station staff. Once your name has been found on the register the clerk will issue you with a ballot paper. On 2 May there will be one ballot paper for  the election of ward members to Uttlesford District Council. If seats on your town or parish council are being contested, then you will be given a second paper for that election.

Go to one of the booths and mark a cross (X) in the box on the right had side of the ballot paper. (The number of candidates you can vote for can vary depending on the type of election). Fold the ballot paper in two. Do not show anyone your vote. Put the folded ballot paper in the ballot box and leave the polling station.

If you make a mistake and need another ballot paper, show it to the presiding officer and ask for another one. The presiding officer will take your spoilt ballot paper from you when you are issued with a replacement ballot paper.

An enlarged version of the ballot paper will be displayed at the polling station and a template for those who are partially sighted or who experience dyslexia are available for use at the polling station.

As you leave the polling station you may be asked for the number on your polling card by a teller. They are not part of the official polling station staff - they are volunteers working for the candidates. They use this information to check who's voted so they can remind those who haven't to do so.

They are not acting in any official capacity so you don't need to give them any information if you don't want to.

If you are concerned about the conduct of a teller, speak to the presiding officer at the polling station.

Information for disabled voters

Everyone has a right to vote independently and in secret. If you are registered to vote or someone has asked you to vote on their behalf (as their proxy), no one can stop you from voting because of mental or physical incapacity.

Disabled voters can:

  • Ask the person in charge at the polling station (the Presiding Officer), to mark the ballot paper for them
  • Bring someone to the polling station to help them vote (this person must be an immediate family member over 18 years old, or someone else who is registered to vote)
  • Use a plastic device that is fixed onto the ballot paper to help them vote
  • See a large-print version of the ballot paper

Helping you to access the polling station

We decide where to set up polling stations in our area. This is called the Scheme of Polling Districts and Polling Places. When we do this we need to consider access for disabled voters. If you can't get into the polling station because of a physical disability, the Presiding Officer can take the ballot paper to you.