At Gardiner’s we feel that supporting people to vote is important. Ahead of the General Election on 12th December, this post provides information about supporting people to vote and how to make the provess easier.
Registering to vote
The deadline to register to vote in the General Election is midnight on 26 November. Gardiner’s can support our cleints to register to vote if they wish. Help with Supporting people to vote is also available from staff at the local council’s electoral services department. Click here to apply to the voting register, you will need to have your National Insurance number available.
Assisting people to get to polling booths.
Gardiner’s are very happy to assist our clients to attend the local polling station to vote. Help with supporting people to vote is also be available from the local council.
When you vote at a polling station you will be required to produce one of the following documents to confirm your identity:
- A UK, Irish or EEA driving licence (photographic part) (provisional accepted)
- A UK, Irish or EU passport (note: EU passports are not accepted at UK Parliamentary elections)
- An Electoral Identity Card – How to apply for a free Electoral Identity Card
- A Translink SmartPass
Everyone who is entitled to vote can apply to vote by post. This is particularly helpful for people who may struggle to get to a polling station. The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm on 26 November 2019. Their postal vote must arrive at their Electoral Office by 10pm on 12 December 2019. Click here to apply for a postal vote
While everyone should be free to decide which form of vote to use, the possibility of adverse weather in December may make opting for a postal vote a safe opiton for the upcoming General Election.
Mental capacity and the right to vote
The Electoral Commission’s guidance states that ‘Everyone, regardless of their capacity, should be registered to vote. It is important that vulnerable people do not lose their right to vote’.
The Electoral Commission’s assisted applications guidance gives detailed advice for care staff and those holding a power of attorney, can go legally to assist people to register and exercise their right to vote.
Easy-read and accessible manifestos are usually available from the main websites of the political parties, Gardiner’s staff can support our clients to access these.
A proxy vote is where someone goes to the polling station to vote for another person who is unable to attend to vote themself. Where an individual appoints a proxy, they ask someone they trust to vote on their behalf. People can only apply for a proxy vote under certain circumstances, including being away on polling day, having a medical issue or disability or not being able to vote in person because of work or military service.
The deadline to request a proxy vote for the upcoming General Election is 5 pm on 4 December 2019.
A proxy postal vote can also be requested – the deadline for requesting this is 5 pm on 26 November 2019.
It is also possible to ask for an emergency proxy vote, for example if someone becomes unexpectedly ill or incapacitated, also reasons relating to their occupation, service or employment, mean they cannot vote in person. The applicaiton to do this must be made by 5 pm on the day of the election.
A word of warning
To avoid potential conflicts of interest, Care Workers should not be asked to act as proxies. Any wrong-doing, for example, unduly influencing or voting on behalf of a service user could be a safeguarding matter.
The Electoral Commission is the independent body which oversees elections in the UK – vist the ‘I am a voter’ section of it’s website to read about registering to vote, casting votes in the ballot. There is information on voting at GOV.UK at: information about voting.