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Local government elections in England

Local elections are taking place in some parts of England on Thursday 3 May.

Register to vote

If you are already registered to vote and your details haven't changed, you don't need to re-register to vote.

If you've never registered to vote, or have recently moved house, register now at

To vote in a local election on Thursday 3 May, you need to do this by Tuesday 17 April.

Who can vote?

To vote in a local council election you must be registered to vote, 18 years old or over on polling day, and also be one of the following:

  • a British citizen, a qualifying Commonwealth citizen, or a citizen of the European Union
  • resident in the UK
  • not be subject to any legal incapacity to vote

The following cannot vote in a local council election:

  • anyone other than British, qualifying Commonwealth or European Union citizens
  • convicted persons detained in pursuance of their sentences, excluding contempt of court (though remand prisoners, unconvicted prisoners and civil prisoners can vote if they are on the electoral register)
  • anyone found guilty within the previous five years of corrupt or illegal practices in connection with an election

How do I vote?

Depending on where you live, you will be asked to make either one, two or three choices on your ballot paper.

Mark your choice(s) with an 'X'.

These elections use the First Past the Post system.

This means that the one, two or three candidates – depending on how many you were asked to vote for – that receive the most votes are elected.

Casting your vote

You can vote in person at your polling station. You will receive a poll card from your council telling you where your polling station is.

You can vote by post. This means your ballot paper is posted to you and you can then your vote back by post.

You need to submit an application to your local council to do this.

Find out more about voting by post

You can choose to vote by proxy. This means appointing someone to vote on your behalf.

You need to submit an application to your local council to do this.

Find out more about voting by proxy

What are the elections for?

The local elections on Thursday 3 May are for you to choose who represents you on your local council.

Depending on where you live, your local council is responsible for all or some of the following areas:

  • Council housing
  • Education services
  • Electoral registration
  • Environmental health
  • Leisure and recreation facilities
  • Libraries
  • Local planning
  • Local transport
  • Parks and public places
  • Regulation of local business
  • Roads and footpaths
  • Social services
  • Waste and recycling

Easy read guide to voting

This guide explains how to register to vote as well as the different types of voting. It also has key dates for the elections in May.

Read the easy read guide to voting at the May 2018 elections (PDF)

It was produced with Mencap, the charity for people with a learning disability.

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