On Thursday (8th June), we will get an opportunity to vote in the general election – electing our constituency MP for Bristol North West. Last year 31% of Southmead didn’t vote – here is some handy info that will help make sure your vote is counted!
WHO CAN VOTE?
To vote at the UK general election you must be registered to vote. If you have received a polling card in the post then you are likely registered. To check, go here. You must also be 18 years of age, be a British, Irish or qualifying Commonwealth citizen and be resident at an address in the UK.
WHO CAN I VOTE FOR?
Southmead is part of the Bristol North West constituency, one of 650 constituencies in the UK which each elect one Member of Parliament (MP). You vote for one MP to sit in the UK Parliament in Westminster and represent your constituency, often a member of a political party. We have four candidates for election outlined below, follow the links to their websites to find out more.
SHARMILA BOUSA of the GREEN PARTY
CELIA DOWNIE of the LIBERAL DEMOCRATS
DARREN JONES of the LABOUR PARTY
CHARLOTTE LESLIE of the CONSERVATIVE PARTY
Bristol 24/7 have produced the most recent update on candidates here.
HOW DO I VOTE AT A POLLING STATION?
There are four polling stations in Southmead at The Greenway Centre, The Lanercost Centre, Library & Southmead Community Centre. All are open from 7am-10pm – so there is no excuse not to vote! You have to attend your polling station on your polling card. Don’t worry if you don’t have one, as long as you are registered you can still vote. Check your polling station here.
On the day the staff at the polling station will give you a ballot paper listing the candidates you can vote for. Take your ballot paper into a polling booth so that no one can see how you vote. Read the ballot paper carefully, it will tell you how to cast your vote. Do not write anything else on the paper or your vote may not be counted. Mark your ballot paper according to the instructions.
A pencil will be provided for you to do this, but you may use your own pen if you prefer. If you make a mistake on your ballot paper, don’t worry – so long as you haven’t already put it in the ballot box, just let the polling station staff know and they can issue you with a replacement ballot paper. Fold your completed ballot paper in half, show the back to the Presiding Officer and then pop it in the ballot box – and that’s it done!
NEED ASSISTANCE AT THE POLLING STATION?
If you need any advice, just ask the staff at the polling station – they will be happy to help you.
If you are disabled, you can ask for help and the Presiding Officer can mark the ballot paper for you. You can also ask someone else to help you (e.g. a support worker, as long as they are either a relative or an eligible elector and have not already helped more than one other person vote).
If you have a visual impairment, you can ask to see a large print ballot paper or you can ask for a special voting device that allows you to vote on your own in secret.
If the Greenway Centre is your polling station for the General Election on Thursday and you visit between 8am-3pm you will receive a free raffle ticket from the cafe and you’ll be in with a chance of winning a free breakfast and lunch for two with drinks and cake!
Just come to the cafe after you have voted to pick up your free raffle ticket between 8am – 3pm only.
The winner will be contacted on Monday 12th June
We hope that helps and happy voting!