These are all the polling station rules you need to know before voting

By Rhona Shennan
Wednesday, 01 May, 2019, 15:30
Polling stations have rules in place to ensure voting goes smoothly (Picture: Shutterstock)

Between local elections and European elections, adults across the UK are preparing to head to the polls.

Beyond thinking about who you’re going to vote for, there are other things you need to keep in mind when heading to the polling station - including the rules about how to vote.

Here’s everything you need to know when it’s time to cast your vote.

Can I bring my dog?

Dogs are allowed to accompany you to vote, but it is up to the individual polling stations as to whether your pooch can come indoors or not.

Some areas of the UK have seen its voters take to their local polling station on horse, in which case they needed to be tied up outside.

There is no official guidance on bringing your cat, rabbit or any other type of pet, so this would be up to the discretion of the polling staff.

Can I take a selfie?

You might be tempted to mark your right to vote with a photo, but taking selfies inside the polling station is not allowed.

The organiser of elections in the UK, the Electoral Commission, has advised that it’s best to conduct any selfie taking after you've cast your vote and have left the polling station.

Can I wear something to support my party?

While you may feel the desire support the party you’re voting for, clothes with political slogans are not permitted.

The same goes with rosettes, as the different colours are associated with the different parties.

You’re not allowed to influence other voters at the polling station - political discussion is banned in polling stations, and this applies to your wardrobe choice.

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Only candidate and tellers are allowed to dress to display their party loyalty. It’s best just to stick to regular clothes to avoid potentially getting turned away without casting your vote.

Can I bring my children?

Yes, children are allowed to come with you to the polls.

However, they are not allowed to mark the ballot for you - this is something only you can do.

If you have a lot of children with you, they may have to wait outside the booth, but polling station staff are there to oversee them.

Can someone else fill out the ballot for me?

Excluding extenuating circumstances, only you are allowed to cross your ballot paper.

If you have a disability that makes it difficult for you to fill in the ballot, there are options in place to ensure you still cast your vote. The Presiding Officer can mark the ballot paper for you or you can ask someone else to fill it out, such as a support worker or relative. However, they must not have already helped more than one other person vote.

If you have a visual impairment you can ask to see a large print version of the ballot paper.

Can I write on the ballot?

Avoid writing on the ballot - this includes a signature, any comments or markings outside of the cross or tick next to your votes name.

Anything which identifies the ballot as your automatically voids it, and your vote will not count.

This article originally appeared on our sister site, Lancashire Evening Post