If you are over 18 years old you may be able to vote.

You must register to vote in order to vote!

The people that run the country are called politicians. Politicians are elected and are usually part of a political party who agree on how the country should be run. They are also known as Members of Parliament (MP).

Politicians are able to make important decisions which affect the way people live. Some of these decisions are called laws.

Why is voting important?

You can decide which politicians run the country by voting. This is called an
election. Voting is one of best ways for people to have their voice heard.  Different politicians have different ideas about the best way to run the

In England, some political parties are:

  • The Conservative Party
  • The Labour Party
  • The Liberal Democrats
  • The UK Independence Party
  • The Green Party

You may also want to vote for someone who is not part of a political party. These people are called independent candidates.

In an election people choose who they would like to be their local Member of Parliament.

The leader of the winning party then becomes Prime Minister.

Registering to vote

Your nurse will give you a form and provide any help or information you may need to complete it.

Once complete your nurse will make sure the form is sent off so your name can be included on the electoral register.

The electoral register is a list naming every person who has registered to vote.

Two versions of the electoral register are kept.

The first is called the Open Register this is available to anyone who would like to buy a copy. You can say that you do not want to have your name on this register.

The second register is called the Electoral Register. This register can be bought or looked at only by certain people.

Ways to vote

There are three (3) ways to vote:

At a polling station
Before an election you will be posted a poll card. Your poll card will tell you where your nearest polling station is.

You must have your Doctor’s permission before you can leave the hospital.
If you are not well you may not be allowed to leave the hospital.

By post

To make sure you will always be able to vote it is suggested that you apply for a postal vote.

Your Nurse will help you fill out a postal vote application form. Before elections you will receive a ballot paper in the post.

This form shows you who you can vote for.

It will tell you when to post it.

By proxy

This means choosing someone else to vote for you. You need to fill in a new form to choose who will vote for you.

What happens next?

Once you have registered to vote you can vote in the local and general  elections.

Local elections let people choose which politicians will run your local area.

General Elections happen at least every five years. These elections let people choose their Member of Parliament.

If you would like to know more about the candidates, the parties they stand for and what they think about different issues, please ask your Nurse for help.


A link to our easy read patient carer information including imagery for this service can be downloaded here.



Leaflet reference: L976E
Version: V1
Date last updated: 16 / 08 / 2017
Archive date: 17 / 08 / 2020



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