Local Council Elections
Posted on: May 2 2017
Get ready to vote!
Welsh Local Elections 2017
On Thursday 4 May 2017, disabled people across Wales have the chance to make their voices heard, more than 3,400 candidates are standing for the 1,254 councillor seats across Wales, who will get your vote?
The local elections are a chance for you to decide who will represent you and work towards improving services and opportunities for disabled people in your local area.
Councillors make important decisions on matters that affect your daily lives such as; allocating budgets for your care packages, deciding on educational services for disabled children and how accessible our parks, towns and local public services are for disabled people.
Because of this it’s important that the right people are representing you within your local authority and that they understand the needs of their disabled constituents.
Make your voice count and ensure that disabled people’s views are represented at the polling stations on Thursday 4 May 2017.
We have put this factsheet together to provide you with all the information you need to vote in the local elections.
More information here on your rights to access when voting.
Am I registered to vote?
Registration to vote in May’s elections closed on 13th April 2017.
Each local authority holds the details for the electoral register in their area, you can contact them to find out whether you are registered to vote.
You can search for your local authority’s contact details through the Electoral Commissions website
Who is standing in my area?
How can I vote?
There are three ways to vote:
1. At your polling station on Thursday 4 May 2017
If you are registered to vote you will receive a poll card telling you where your polling station is. Polling stations are open from 7 am to 10 pm.
You do not need your poll card to vote, though it will speed up the process if you do take it with you. If you have lost your poll card, or not received it, you can contact the electoral services team at your local council who will tell you where your polling station is.
You can find contact details for your local electoral services team at www.yourvotematters.co.uk
- By post
If you can’t attend a polling station on Thursday 4 May, you can apply to vote by post. You do not need to give a reason to vote by post.
The deadline to apply to vote by post was 5pm Tuesday 18 April 2017.
Postal ballot papers must be completed and returned by 10pm Thursday 4 May 2017.
If it is too late to send your vote back by post, you can hand it in on polling day to the Returning Officer at your local council, or drop it off at your polling station.
- By proxy (appointing somebody you trust to vote on your behalf)
If you can’t attend a polling station on Thursday 4 May, you can ask someone you trust to vote for you. This is called voting by proxy. When you apply for a proxy vote you must provide a reason why you can’t vote in person.
What support is available in the polling station?
You can ask the Presiding Officer for help
The Presiding Officer is an independent person who is in charge of the polling station. You can ask them for help.
You can ask the Presiding Officer to read out the instructions on the ballot paper.
You can tell the Presiding Officer, in the privacy of the polling booth, how to mark the ballot paper on your behalf.
You can ask someone to come to the polling station with you
You can ask someone to come to the polling station to help you.
Your companion must be either a close relative (father, mother, brother, sister, spouse, civil partner, son or daughter – if they are aged 18 years or over) or someone eligible to vote in this election. You should ask the permission of the Presiding Officer to be assisted by your companion.
Your companion is required to complete a simple declaration. The Presiding Officer must record your name and elector number, as well as your companion’s name and address. This is just a security measure and will not mean your vote can be identified in any way.
You can use the tactile device or large print resources
Your polling station will have a devce that can be attached to the ballot paper. It has a window that can be lifted for each candidate.
The polling station staff can explain how to use the device and read out the candidate names in the order that they appear on the ballot paper, which political party they are representing or whether they are an independent candidate.
Your polling station will have a large-print version of the ballot paper on display. There will also be a large hand-held copy of the ballot paper, marked ‘sample’, both of which you can use as a reference whilst casting your vote.
How do I vote?
You will be given a ballot paper to vote in the local council elections. You may also be given a ballot paper for the community council elections, if there is a community council election taking place in your area.
There will be instructions at the top of your ballot paper(s) saying how many councillors you can vote for in your area. Mark an X in the box against the candidate or candidates you want to vote for.
Where is my polling station?
The address of your polling station will be written on your poll card. You can also contact the electoral services department at your local council to find out.
You can find their contact details at www.yourvotematters.co.uk
When are polling stations open?
Polling stations will be open on Election Day (Thursday 4 May) from 7:00am to 10:00pm. You do not need to take your poll card with you to vote.
If you have a postal vote and it is too late to send your vote back by post, you can hand it in on polling day to the Returning Officer at your local council, or drop it off at your polling station.
Information in this leaflet comes form the Electoral Commission. More resources are available on their website.