FAQs

If your name is on the electoral register and you are aged 18 or over, you should get a poll card about one month before an election.

The poll card will tell you where to vote and the times that the polling station will be open. The clerk at the polling station will confirm your name and address, check your name is on the register and then give you a ballot paper.

The ballot paper will say how many candidates you can vote for. Take the ballot paper to one of the polling booths and put a cross (X) in the box next to the name of the candidate(s) you want to support.

Do not write anything else on the ballot paper or your vote will not be counted.

Once you have voted you must fold the ballot paper to hide your vote.

Place your folded ballot paper in the locked ballot box. You don't have to tell anyone who you voted for.

If there is more than one election taking place at once (e.g. a parish and a district election), you may have more than one ballot paper to complete.

If this is the case, these ballot papers will go in separate ballot boxes.

Please pay close attention to what the presiding officer and poll clerks tell you.
No. You have to be 18 or over.

You must also be:
  • A British citizen; or
  • A citizen of another Commonwealth country; or
  • A citizen of a British Overseas Territory; or
  • A citizen of the Republic of Ireland; or
  • For certain elections (excluding UK Parliamentary Elections), a citizen of another European Union country.
Your name must be included on the register of electors, otherwise you can not vote.
No. As soon as you are 18 you can vote provided that your name is entered on the electoral register.
Yes – you can vote in British General and European Parliamentary Elections if you are registered as an overseas elector.

To be eligible you must:
  • Be a British citizen
  • Have moved abroad less than 15 years ago
  • Have been on the electoral register in the Malvern Hills area before you moved abroad (or if you were under 18 when you moved abroad, your parent(s)/guardian(s) must have been on the register) - if you were last registered elsewhere than Malvern Hills, apply to the local council for that area


  • You can register to vote online, alternatively you can contact Electoral Services for the appropriate form. Please complete, sign and return the application to the address at the bottom of the page.

    As an overseas elector you can apply to vote by post or proxy (a proxy is where you appoint someone in the UK to vote on your behalf) by completing a Proxy Vote Application or a Postal Vote Application. Please note that we strongly advise that you appoint a proxy rather than electing to vote by post - the statutory electoral timetables do not allow us to begin dispatching postal ballot papers until at most eleven working days before polling day, so depending on the postal service to your country of residence there may not be time for you to complete and return your ballot papers.

    If you appoint a proxy, they will be able to vote at the polling station for your previous Malvern address, or they can apply to cast your vote by post if they are unable to get to this polling station on election day.

    Please post the completed form to the address at the bottom of the page.

    Special Category Electors If you fall into one of the following categories and wish to register to vote you will need to register under Individual Registration;
    • HM Forces service voters (and their spouses or civil partners)
    • Crown servants and British Council employees (and their spouses or civil partners)
    • People living in the UK but who have no permanent address or fixed address
    • Patients in mental hospitals whose stay at the hospital is sufficient for them to be regarded as resident there
    • Remand prisoners whose stay at a penal institution is sufficient for them to be regarded as resident there


    • You can register to vote online, alternatively you can download, complete, sign and return the relevant application below and return to Electoral Services, Malvern Hills District Council, Avenue Road, Malvern WR14 3AF.

      Postal and Proxy Voting Postal Voting: Anyone can apply for a postal vote for all elections, or for a particular election, without needing to give a reason. Contact Electoral Services by telephone 01684 862200 or by email elections@malvernhills.gov.uk for a form to be sent to you. The last time for the receipt of applications for new postal votes for a particular election is 11 working days before polling day. This is also the deadline for making any changes to existing postal or proxy votes.

      Proxy Voting: Alternatively, you can apply to appoint a proxy who would vote at your polling station on your behalf. If you choose to vote by proxy at a particular election you are required to give a reason, e.g. illness, disability, employment, attendance on a course etc. If you choose to vote by proxy for all elections you will also need to give a reason and get someone to support your application. The people who are qualified to support your application are listed in the notes on the second page of the form. People appointed as proxies must: a) Themselves be eligible to vote at that/those election(s) b) Only be proxy for a maximum of two people (unless they are related to them).

      Contact Electoral Services by telephone 01684 862200 or by email elections@malvernhills.gov.uk for a form to be sent to you.

      The last time for the receipt of applications for new proxy votes for a particular election is 5pm 6 working days before polling day.

      Emergency Proxy Voting: If you suffer a medical emergency, which renders you unable to get to your polling station, and the deadline for proxy applications at that particular election has already passed, you can apply to appoint an emergency proxy by contacting Electoral Services by telephone 01684 862200 or by email elections@malvernhills.gov.uk for a form to be sent to you. You will need a supporting signature from a medical practitioner, social worker or similar to confirm your circumstances. The list of people who can support your application is in the notes included with the form. The completed application form must reach us by 5pm on polling day.

      If you are unable to attend the polling station in person for reasons relating to your occupation, service or employment you can apply to appoint an emergency proxy by contacting Electoral Services by telephone 01684 862200 or by email elections@malvernhills.gov.uk for a form to be sent to you.

      If you are self employed you will need a supporting signature from a person aged 18 or over who knows you, this person cannot be your spouse, civil partner, parent, grandparent, brother, sister or grandchild.

      If you are employed you will need a supporting signature from your employer or an authorised person at your workplace.

      If you are a member of HM Forces, a Crown Servant or a British Council Employee, or a spouse or civil partner of one of the above, and registered as a Service voter you do not need to support your application.

      Please note that this application can only be used in cases of medical emergencies or employment emergencies which have occurred since the standard proxy voting deadline (six working days before the election) - for pre-existing medical conditions the postal and proxy voting procedures and deadlines above still apply.
No - you can still vote without it. The poll card is for information only. It just makes it easier if you take it to the polling station and show it to the clerk there.
Yes - but you need to apply for a postal vote or appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf.

You should do this as soon as possible because we cannot accept any postal vote applications which are received after 5pm on the eleventh working day before polling day, or any proxy vote applications which are received after 5pm on the sixth working day before polling day.

Postal Voting Anyone can apply for a postal vote for all elections, or for a particular election, without needing to give a reason.

Contact Electoral Services by telephone on 01684 862200 or by email to elections@malvernhills.gov.uk for a form to be sent to you.

Proxy Voting Alternatively, you can apply to appoint a proxy who would vote at your polling station on your behalf.

If you choose to vote by proxy at a particular election you are required to give a reason, e.g. illness, disability, employment, attendance on a course etc. If you choose to vote by proxy for all elections you will also need to give a reason and get someone to support your application.

Contact Electoral Services by telephone on 01684 862200 or by email to elections@malvernhills.gov.uk for a form to be sent to you.
It is a legal requirement that poll numbers are written on a numbered list.

The procedure exists to detect and prove any possible abuses or fraud.

At the end of the poll, the lists are sealed in a secure packet. The packet containing the numbered list is not opened at the count. At the end of the count the counted ballot papers are also sealed in a secure packet.

After the election the sealed packets are held securely within the Council Offices.

The sealed packets can only be opened by an Order from the High Court or County Court provided that the Court is satisfied that an Order is needed to help prosecute for an election offence.

The procedure is there to protect the integrity of the democratic process and not to undermine it. Your vote is, therefore, secret.
These people are called tellers and are used by each of the main political parties to help with their election campaigns.

They have no standing in electoral law and are not connected with the official election process.

You don't have to give them your poll number if you don't want to.
Yes - each polling station will have one booth that is wider and has a lower writing shelf designed for voters using a wheelchair.

If a polling station has alternative access for wheelchair users this will be signposted.

For voters with sight difficulties there is a large copy of the ballot paper available to read, although the ballot paper that is issued will be the same for everyone.

A device with both raised and Braille numbers which can be attached to the ballot paper is also available at each polling station.

If you would like to know whether disabled car parking and toilet facilities are available at your polling station, and what, if any, accessibility issues you might encounter, you can Contact Electoral Services by telephone on 01684 862200 or by email to elections@malvernhills.gov.uk.

Our polling stations are kept under review at all times. We welcome any comments from electors if they feel there are issues with a particular polling station.

The Presiding Officer or a voter's companion can assist a voter with disabilities.

Anyone who helps a voter in this way will be required to complete a declaration at the polling station.

Alternatively, you can apply for a postal vote or appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf.
If you make a mistake on your ballot paper show it to the clerk at the polling station and ask for another one - do not put the spoilt paper in the ballot box.

The clerk will issue you with a new paper and put your spoilt paper in a sealed envelope.

What happens after the voting has finished?

Immediately after voting has finished, the ballot box is sealed by the staff to ensure that nothing can be added to or taken from the box.

The box is taken to the count location where the contents are counted with the ballot papers from other polling stations.

The candidate who receives most votes is declared the winner and is elected to the position contested. Where more than one position is being contested, there will be more than one winner - e.g. in a two-member district ward the candidates with the most and second-most votes will be elected.

Contact Electoral Services Email: elections@malvernhills.gov.uk Telephone: 01684 862200 Address: Electoral Services Malvern Hills District Council, Avenue Road, Malvern, WR14 3AF