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Elections and voting
 See also
Polling stations
Register on the electoral register
Voting by post
Voting by proxy

Voting in person

You need to be on the electoral register to vote in UK elections and referendums.

Find out how to register or change your details on the electoral register

What happens at a polling station

  • if you are eligible to vote you will receive a polling card around two weeks before an election, unless you have previously arranged to vote by post

  • the card will tell you where your polling station is and its opening hours

  • you do not need your polling card to vote but it will help staff at the polling station to find your name on the register

  • you will be given a ballot paper, take your ballot papers to a booth

  • the ballot paper lists the candidates and their parties for your ward

  • if there is one seat to elect in your ward you can vote for no more than one candidate. If there are two seats in your ward to elect, then you vote for no more than two candidates

  • choose who you want to vote for and put an X in the box next to their name

  • if you mark any more boxes, or write on your form in any other way, your paper will be invalid (or spoiled)

  • fold the ballot paper, show the number on the back to the presiding officer and post it in the sealed ballot box 

If you are unsure about what to do speak to a member of staff.

Nobody but you will know how you voted. Your elector number is written on the ballot paper counterfoil for security and to prevent fraud.

Voting anonymously

If you feel your safety may be at risk if your details were published on the voters list, you can register anonymously.

More information about registering anonymously

What happens after you have voted

  • when voting has closed at 10pm the sealed ballot box is taken to the count venue (Hull City Hall) so all the votes can be counted

  • the total number of votes cast is counted first which should be the same number that was issued at the polling station

  • the votes are then counted out in favour of the candidates

  • each candidate is allowed to be present at the count. They are also allowed to appoint counting agents to observe the count to check that it is done correctly

  • if the result is close a candidate can request a recount, however the returning officer makes the decision whether this happens

  • when the count has finished the results are given to the returning officer who will make the official declaration

What happens after the declaration

  • the counted ballot papers are packaged up and held securely for 12 months

  • the packages can only be opened and re-inspected by an order of an election court in the event that the result of the election is challenged


A teller sits outside a polling station and works on behalf of the political parties. They record who has voted.

The teller may ask for your poll number or your poll card (on which your poll number is printed). The tellers ask for this information so that they can work out which of their supporters have voted, and don’t need to remindthose who have to come out and vote.

You do not have to give your poll number or card to the tellers. They also have no right to stop you when you go into the polling station or ask how you have voted.

If you are unhappy with the actions of the tellers, please let the presiding officer know. The presiding officer is the person who is in charge of running the polling station.

Contact us

Electoral services
Hull City Council
Alfred Gelder Street
Map (link opens in a new window)

Tel: 01482 300 300
Fax: 01482 614 804
Text phone: 01482 300 349

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