How to vote
The UK Government has passed a law that will change the way you vote in UK Parliamentary and Police and Crime Commissioner Elections. This law is called the Elections Act 2022.
This law does not apply to Senedd, Bridgend County Borough Council or Town and Community Council Elections. The legislation for these is set by Welsh Government.
Voting at polling stations
You will need to show an approved form of photo ID at polling stations when there is a Police and Crime Commissioner election; and an UK Parliamentary election (from October 2023).
You must show an approved form of photo ID, such as a passport or driver’s licence.
Only original documents are accepted. Scanned images or copies will not be accepted.
If your photo ID has expired, it will be accepted if the photograph is still a good likeness of you.
The most used and accepted forms of ID include:
- Passport issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, a British Overseas Territory, an EEA status or a Commonwealth country
- Photographic driver’s licence issued by the UK, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or an EEA state or a Commonwealth country
- European Economic Area (EEA) photographic ID card
- An identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (PASS card)
- A Blue Badge
- Older Person’s Bus Pass
- Disabled Person’s Bus Pass
- Oyster 60+ Card
If you are unsure whether the form of Photo ID you currently have is accepted, you can find more information on the accepted forms of ID on the GOV.UK website.
Alternatively, you can contact our Electoral Services team for help.
If you do not have an approved form of ID, you will need to apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate (VAC).
You can apply online for a VAC through the GOV.UK website.
You can apply for a VAC by printing and filling in a paper form and sending it to our Electoral Services team. You can also e-mail or call our Electoral Services team to request a print of this form.
Once you receive your VAC, it will have no expiry date. However, it is advised that you renew your VAC in 10 years to ensure the photo remains a true likeliness of you.
The deadline to apply for a VAC will be 5.00pm, six working days before the election date.
The next scheduled election in Bridgend where you will need to show photo ID or a VAC to vote will be the Police and Crime Commissioner Election in May 2024.
You can vote in person at your local polling station. If you are registered to vote, you will receive a poll card before the election which states where your polling station is. You do not need to re-register for every election, unless your address has changed.
Polling hours are 7am to 10pm.
Visit Your Vote Matters for more information or to download an application form.
You can receive a ballot paper at your home or at an address where you will be living during the election.
The deadline to apply for a new postal/postal proxy vote, and to amend or cancel one is 5pm, 11 working days before an election/referendum. Applications can be for a temporary or permanent postal vote.
If voting by post, you must complete and return both the postal voting statement and ballot paper. Before close of poll, postal votes can be returned:
- by post
- by hand to the council offices
- to your polling station
Replacements for lost or spoilt postal votes can be collected from the election office before 5pm on polling day.
Please note that people who applied to vote by post but who do not cancel their application before the deadline cannot vote in person.
You must register as an overseas voter. This registration has to happen before you can vote by post or proxy. Overseas voters have to renew their registration every 12 months, and cannot vote in local elections.
If voting by post, you must ensure you have time to receive and return your ballot papers by polling day. If you are unsure that this can be done, you could appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf.
Proxy voting means that someone you trust can vote for you if you can’t vote in person.
When applying for a new proxy vote, your application must arrive at our office by 5pm, six working days before an election/referendum. The deadline to amend or cancel an existing proxy/postal proxy vote is by 5pm, 11 working days before an election or referendum. Applications can be for a temporary or permanent proxy vote. However unless you are an overseas/armed forces voter, applications for permanent proxies must be countersigned by one of the relevant people noted on the form.
You can apply for a proxy vote if:
- you are unable to go to the polling station for a particular election, as when you are away on holiday for example
- you have a physical condition that means you cannot go to the polling station on election day
- your employment means that you cannot go to the polling station on election day
- your attendance on an educational course means that you cannot go to the polling station on election day
- you are a British citizen living overseas
- you are a crown servant or a member of Her Majesty's Armed Forces
The person you wish to appoint as your proxy can only act as proxy if they are 18 or over. Also, they must be registered for that election/referendum.
A person cannot be a proxy for more than two people at any one election or referendum, unless they are your:
- civil partner
- child or grandchild
The person who appointed the proxy should tell them how they want the proxy to vote in their place, as by candidate, party or outcome.
You may still vote in person provided your proxy has not voted for you, or they have not applied to vote for you by post.
For more information about proxy voting, visit Your Vote Matters’ website.
If a proxy cannot go to your polling station, they can apply to vote by post.
The deadline to apply for a postal proxy vote is by 5pm, 11 working days before an election or referendum.
For a postal proxy application form, please contact the Electoral Office.