Voting - polling stations, postal votes, proxy votes and Armed Forces

Your vote is yours alone

Your vote is yours alone

Your vote is yours alone. Whether you vote at a polling station, by post, or via a proxy, it’s your decision.

It’s illegal for anyone, even a partner, family member or friend, to influence you to vote against your will.

What is electoral fraud?

Electoral fraud can take many different forms

Undue influence

No one is allowed to intimidate you into voting a certain way, such as by threatening you with injury, damage or harm.

Bribery

It’s illegal to offer bribes such as money or gifts, directly or indirectly, to persuade you to vote a certain way or not to vote at all.

Personation

No one is allowed to pretend to be you in order to use your vote, whether it’s a postal vote or at the polling station. In addition, no one is allowed to vote by pretending to be someone who has died or is completely fictional.

Applying for a vote under false pretences

It’s illegal to apply for a proxy, or postal vote, using false details or under false pretences.

Asking you to show your completed ballot paper

It is an offence for someone to directly or indirectly persuade you to display your ballot paper after you have completed it so they can see who you have voted for.

Other types of electoral fraud

Voting twice in the same election

It is illegal to vote twice in the same election, unless you are:

  • voting for both yourself and as a proxy for another person, if formally appointed to cast their vote
  • voting in more than one local authority election if you live and are registered to vote in more than one local authority

Tampering 

It is illegal to tamper, remove or amend ballot papers and postal ballot packs.

For more information visit the Crimestoppers website (link opens in new window).

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