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2024 General Election: Postal voting, voting by proxy and voting accessibility for the elderly

“Not another one” may be how you feel about the forthcoming General Election on 24 July 2024. But voting is a fundamental right and responsibility for all of us aged over 18 in the UK, however weary we feel about the prospect! 

For those less mobile or able to get out and about this guide will provide a comprehensive overview of all the options to enable your loved ones to vote. Don’t delay – there are time deadlines for applications for different forms of voting as you will read below. 

The three different ways to cast a vote

There are three ways for someone to cast their vote:

  • Vote in person at a polling station
  • Signing up for a postal vote
  • Applying for someone to cast a vote on your behalf

How to Vote - Voter Registration

Ensure your loved one is registered to vote: Visit the UK Government’s voter registration website.

  • You will need their National Insurance number and personal details.
  • Register as soon as possible to meet the registration deadline, 18th June 2024.

Voting in person at a polling station

Find Your Polling Station

  • Check your poll card, which you will receive by post.
  • Use the Where Do I Vote website to locate your polling station.
  • Polling stations are open from 7 AM to 10 PM on Election Day.
  • Please note that all face covering will need to be removed including medical masks (consider proxy or postal voting if medical masks are required).


What to Bring

  • Photo ID such as a passport, driving licence or a Blue Badge. (check local rules as ID requirements may vary). Acceptable Photo ID
  • Your poll card (not mandatory but helpful).
  • All acceptable photo ID must be the original ‘hard copy’ and cannot be photocopy or phone image.
  • Bring any medications and water as occasionally waiting times can vary. Youtube link video  


At the Polling Station

  • Go to the reception desk and give your name and address.
  • You will receive a ballot paper.
  • Go to a voting booth to mark your ballot in private.
  • Follow the instructions on the ballot paper carefully.
  • Fold your ballot paper and place it in the ballot box.

Postal Voting

For those who may find it difficult to get to a polling station, postal voting is a convenient alternative. The application for a postal vote can be completed online or via a paper form from the local Election Registration Office

Postal voting 2024

Postal voting is often favoured by people and caregivers living with dementia as it helps avoid stressful situations and strange environments that can make individuals with dementia anxious.

Tips for Postal Voting:

  • Apply Early: Ensure the application for a postal vote is submitted well before the deadline (18th June 2024).
  • Assist with Completion: Caregivers can assist in filling out the postal vote form, ensuring all details are correct and legible.

Proxy Voting

Proxy voting allows someone else to vote on behalf of the individual with dementia. This can be arranged through the Election Registration Office and must be set up in advance.

Tips for Proxy Voting:

  • Choose a Trusted Proxy: The proxy should be someone who understands the voter’s preferences and will follow their wishes. It can be a family member, neighbour, work colleague or friend.
  • Arrange in Advance: Proxy voting arrangements must be made ahead of time to ensure everything is in place by election day.

Video about proxy voting here. 

Making voting easier for the elderly

Voting with Dementia

  • Equal Voting Rights: People with dementia have the same voting rights as every other eligible citizen.
  • No Legal Incapacity: Lack of mental capacity does not prevent someone from voting.
  • Supportive Legislation: The Electoral Commission supports the voting rights of disabled individuals, including those with dementia.
  • Check parking in the area beforehand.


Accessible Voting Booths

  • Polling stations have booths that are wheelchair accessible.
  • Assistive devices like tactile voting templates and magnifiers are available.


Personal Assistance

Important Deadlines

  • Voter Registration Deadline: 18th June 2024.
  • Postal Vote Application Deadline: 19th June 2024.
  • Proxy Vote Application Deadline:26th June 2024
  • Election Day 2024 – 7am – 10pm.
  • Dates may vary for Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland – please follow links above to confirm regional variations.


Further Resources

Participating in the 2024 UK election is crucial for making your voice heard. By following this guide, you can confidently navigate the voting process, whether you vote in person, by post, or by proxy.

Happy Voting!