Elections 2015 – your step-by-step guide

With the 2015 elections just around the corner, it’s time to make sure you are ready to cast your votes.

This May, if you are aged 18 or over, you will be able to have your say in parliamentary and district council elections and, depending on where in South Oxfordshire you live, you could also be able to vote in town or parish council elections.

Apart from standing for election yourself, this is the best way to have your say on how the country is run, as well as on how we provide your local services like recycling collections and housing.

HOW DO I GET TO VOTE?

To vote in these elections you need to register by 5pm on Monday 20 April. Visit gov.uk/register-to-vote today and complete the online form. If you don’t have access to the internet then please give us a call as soon as possible on 01235 540310 to request a registration form.

TELL YOUR FRIENDS, FAMILY AND COLLEAGUES

Remember, everyone now has to register to vote individually. So please tell your friends, family, housemates and colleagues to register if they haven’t already done so.

I’VE REGISTERED TO VOTE…WHAT NEXT?

Once you’ve registered there’s just one more thing you need to do before you can have your say, and that’s to choose how you’re going to cast your vote. There are
three options to pick from:

1. GO POSTAL!
The quickest and easiest way is to vote by post. To apply, go to southoxon.gov.uk/gopostal
After you’re registered we’ll send you a pack with all the paperwork and instructions in – then all you’ll need to do is mark your choices and put the papers in the special freepost return envelope and drop it in your nearest post box. It really is that simple. You need to make sure your completed pack reaches us by 10pm on Thursday 7 May otherwise your vote won’t count.

2. VISIT YOUR LOCAL POLLING STATION.
Up to three weeks before election day, we’ll send you an official poll card, which has details of where you need to go to vote.
We recently carried out a review of polling stations around South Oxfordshire so check your card – your polling station might be different from the one you normally use to vote. We are expecting polling stations to be very busy this year, so to avoid the queues why not consider voting by post (see above).

3. GET SOMEBODY TO VOTE ON YOUR BEHALF.
If you can’t make it to your polling station, or you can’t complete and return a postal vote, you can ask a friend or family member to do it for you. This is called voting by proxy. If you’re registered to vote, you can apply for a proxy vote by visiting southoxon.gov.uk/goproxy or by calling 01235 540310.

REMEMBER, IT’S A HOLIDAY WEEK!
As these elections come just days after the bank holiday, anyone planning to be away that week may want to consider a postal or proxy vote

WHAT ARE THE KEY DATES?

5PM ON MONDAY 20 APRIL – deadline to register to vote
5PM ON TUESDAY 21 APRIL – deadline to apply for postal votes (including applying for somebody to fil in a postal vote on your behalf)
5PM ON TUESDAY 28 APRIL – deadline to apply for somebody to vote on your behalf at a polling station on election day
10PM ON THURSDAY 7 MAY – deadline for your postal vote pack to reach our offices
10PM ON THURSDAY 7 MAY – deadline to vote at your polling station. Polling stations will be open from 7am and you must have arrived at the polling station by 10pm to be allowed to vote
HOW DO I FOUND OUT THE RESULTS?

Once the polls have closed at 10pm on election day, all the votes will be taken to White Horse Leisure and Tennis Centre in Abingdon where they’ll be verified and then counted.

We’re counting the parliamentary elections fist, and expect to announce the results in the early hours of Friday 8 May.
That afternoon we will then count and announce the results of our district council elections.
We’re counting and announcing the town and parish council elections on Saturday 9 May. These counts will take place in Abingdon, Henley and Thame.
The best way to find out the district council results as they happen is by following our elections coverage on Twitter at twitter.com/southoxvotes.

Our website southoxon.gov.uk/elections will also have the full ongoing breakdown of the results as they come in throughout the day. Your local town or parish council should publish its results on its website.