General election 2019 voting rules dos and donts at the polling station


MILLIONS of people across Britain are descending on polling stations today.

But what are the rules when you get there? Here’s everything you need to know…

What you can and can’t do at polling stations?

There are certain rules which must be followed at polling stations across the country

You can vote while drunk

Polling staff aren’t allowed to stop you voting, even if you’ve had a little too much to drink.

They also can’t stop you voting if you’re on drugs.

However, if you cause a ruckus they are allowed to throw you out and ask you to return when sober.

You can’t sign your ballot

Voting is supposed to be secret and if a name can be clearly seen in the signature it stops that vote being secret.

It can also be seen as spoiling your ballot which means it will get discounted anyway.

You also can’t write a message to candidates as this is also regarded as spoiling your ballot and stops your vote counting.

The royal family can vote

The royal family are allowed to vote including the Queen.

However, she chooses not to because it is considered unconstitutional to not remain politically neutral according to the official royal family website.

The Queen is allowed to vote but chooses not to

Children are allowed

You can take your children with you to the polling station.

They can come into your booth while you vote but they can’t mark the ballot for you.

Polling staff can watch the kids for you as you vote if needed, and they are expected to make kids feel welcome in the hopes of encouraging them to vote in the future.

No rosettes– giant or otherwise

Members of the public aren’t allowed to wear rosettes to the polling stations.

The only people allowed to have one on when voting are candidates and their polling agents.

Even then rules are strict, they’re not allowed to refer to the candidate or bear a slogan – but there is no maximum size specified for today’s election.

No political clothing

When heading to cast your vote you won’t be allowed in if you’re wearing political party clothing such as a vote Conservative T-shirt.

This rule is to make sure other voters don’t feel intimidated when voting.

But if you want to come in wearing a Che Guevara top or even your pyjamas you can waltz straight in.

No discussionof the candidates

Once you’re inside the polling station you’re not allowed to discuss candidates as it’s thought it might unsettle other voters.

If polling staff hear you talking about it they’re allowed to intervene.

You also can’t ask someone who they’re voting for inside the station as this can compromise the secrecy of the poll.

A voter heads into a polling station in a caravan in Foulborn

You can play music

It’s not against the rules to listen to music when you go and cast you’re vote.

You will however have to take your headphones out when confirming your name and other details with polling station staff.

If you’re playing music out loud or it’s too noisy, you will be asked to turn it off or leave.

You can cover your face

There are no rules saying you can’t come to vote with your face covered even though polling staff are trying to stop people voting twice by coming dressed as someone else.

At the last election, head of electoral services for Birmingham City Council said: “If you can’t see someone’s face we can ask them the statutory questions – things like their name and address.

“We wouldn’t want to stop someone voting if they’re wearing a hoodie or a burka.”

You can get a new ballot if you make a mistake

Voting again is only allowed if you’ve made a mistake on the ballot and not posted it into the box.

Just return to the desk and tell staff what has happened.

They will be able to cancel your ballot and issue you with a new one.


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