How to vote: everything that you need to know

By - Tuesday 3rd April, 2018

It only takes five minutes to register to vote

Photo by Croydon Council, used with permission.

Polling day is 3rd May, and polling stations will be open between 7am and 10pm. Here’s a breakdown of all the information you need to know from in one place.

How to register to vote

You can register to vote here. You will need your National Insurance number. If you’re a British citizen living abroad, you will need your passport. If you don’t have internet access you can complete a paper form from Electoral Services – call 020 8726 6300.

You will get your poll cards two weeks before the election, which state the date of the election, the hours of poll, and where the polling station is.

How to vote

At the polling station:

When you get to the station, the clerk will ask you to confirm your name and address.

Take the ballot paper to the voting booth and mark ‘X’ to the right of the candidate(s) that you wish to vote for. Put your completed ballot in the box.

You can only vote in elections if your name is on the electoral register. You do not need your polling card, or any form of ID, to vote.

By post:

First, complete a postal vote application, which can be downloaded here.

Along with mailing in your ballot, you can also deliver it by hand to the Town Hall at Katharine Street, Croydon CR9 1DE or hand it in at a polling station in your ward on 3rd May.

By proxy:

A proxy vote is when someone votes for you when you can’t vote at the polling station. You must give a reason as to why you need to vote by proxy.

You can download the proxy vote application form here.

If the person voting for you wants your ballot paper to be mailed to them, they will also have to provide their date of birth and signature. If they do not provide these they will have to attend your polling station on election day to vote. They can provide this information in the application here.

All completed forms can be:

  • Returned by hand to the Town Hall, Katharine Street, Croydon, CR9 1DE
  • Faxed to 020 8407 1308
  • Scanned and emailed to

Important dates

  • The last day to register to vote is 17th April.
  • Your postal vote application must be received by the electoral registration officer by 5pm on Wednesday 18th April.
  • Once you have applied to vote by post you will not be able to vote in person at the polling station. If you wish to cancel your postal vote and vote at a polling station you must write to by 5pm on Wednesday 18th April 2018.
  • The deadline for your proxy to arrange to vote on your behalf by post is 5pm on Wednesday 18th April.
  • Your proxy vote application must be received by the electoral registration officer by 5pm on Wednesday 25th April.
  • If you have lost, never received, or spoilt your postal vote, you will need to have your postal vote reissued. Postal votes can only be reissued from Friday 27th April up until 5pm on election day, Thursday 3rd May.
  • Completed postal votes must be returned by close of polling at 10pm on 3rd May.

New ward boundaries

Croydon’s wards (the sections into which Croydon is divided up to elect councillors) are changing this May. The new boundaries take effect on election day.

There will be an additional four wards. For some households, it could mean that your address will fall under a different ward. You may need to go to a different polling station. To find your ward you can go here.

For the latest information on election day, follow @CroydonCit on Twitter. Live results will be blogged on the Citizen website all night, starting from the close of polling.

Holly Bernstein

Holly Bernstein

Holly Bernstein is a political reporter born and raised in Arizona. Back home she is a broadcast political reporter and presenter on Arizona PBS. She is in London chasing her dreams of covering politics around the world and believes in covering what matters anytime, anywhere.

More Posts - Twitter

  • Ivor Shed

    How to vote: everything that you need to know …….. except the candidates?