Election guide

We have provided some information for voters with a vision impairment on the key dates to be aware of and how to vote with the Covid-19 restrictions, so that you can take part in the elections near you in May, safely and confidently.

On this page

Who can vote? 

You must be over 18 to vote in all elections in England. People over the age of 16 are eligible to vote in Scottish parliamentary and Welsh parliamentary elections.  

What elections are happening and where?

Depending on where you live in the UK, you may be able to vote in an election in May:

Check if elections are happening in your area using the Electoral Commission’s postcode checker

Advice for screen reader users: a postcode checker can be found underneath the “Enter your postcode” heading.  When the search has been made a new screen will load and you should activate the “Skip to main content” link to move you to the beginning of your search results. 

How can I vote?

Register to vote

Before deciding how you will go to the polls on 6 May 2021, you must be registered to vote. You can register online and takes less than five minutes to complete. If you do not have all the required information to hand, you can still submit the application, and your local authority will be in touch to ask for further details. To ensure you are on the electoral register in time for 6 May 2021, you must be registered by 19 April 2021.  

Check which elections you are eligible to vote in.

The different ways to vote

Key dates

  • Tuesday 6 April 2021 – deadline for postal vote registration in Scotland.
  • Monday 19 April 2021 – deadline for voter registration.
  • Tuesday 20 April 2021, 5pm – deadline for postal and postal proxy applications in the rest of the UK.
  • Tuesday 27 April 2021, 5pm – deadline for new applications for proxy voting.
  • Thursday 6 May 2021 – polling day.
  • Thursday 6 May 2021, 5pm – deadline for emergency proxy applications. 

The impact of Covid-19 on voters with sight loss

Due to Covid-19 social distancing rules, some polling stations may no longer be appropriate due to lack of ventilation or space, or the building being used for another Covid-19 response. Your polling card from your local authority should let you know your station, and you can also check online

Any materials to support blind or partially sighted electors, such as tactile voting devices, should be cleaned after each use.

The current government guidance acknowledges that disabled voters may attend with a companion. Voters should wear a mask and are encouraged to bring their own pen or pencil. 

Test and Trace is not required for polling stations (unless a voter remains in the building for some other purpose).

In previous elections, volunteers from political parties have often given car lifts to polling stations, the government has recommended that this does not take place this year.

Royal Mail has agreed to prioritise the delivery of elections mail including delivery and return of ballot packs in the same way as it does now for coronavirus tests. 

Sighted guiding guidance 

For people assisting or working at polling stations, take a look at our up-to-date guidance on supporting people with sight loss.

More information 

Tell us about it

We'd love to hear about your voting experience this year. Please email us to let us know what your plans are or how it went, or tell us on social media, tagging @gdcampaigns and using the hashtag #GuideDogsVotes 

Remember, do not take a photo of your ballot paper, whether in the polling station or when completing a postal vote.