GENERAL ELECTION, 8 JUNE 2017

REGISTERING TO VOTE AND CASTING YOUR VOTE BY POST

Cover note to explain information on voting in the General Election – not an official document

Registering to vote

The General Election is coming up on 8 June 2017. If you are not already registered to vote, you can register on this website:

https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

You can also register by post – the form is attached to this note.

The deadline to register is 23:59 on 22 May.

Voting by post

People who may be on hospital wards at the time of the General Election should have their chance to vote – even if they are notable to go to the polling station. Other people with mental health issues who are outpatients may also find it difficult to cast their vote in person.

Some people will not be able to predict whether they will have leave from hospital on 8 June, or whether someone will accompany them to the polling station if needed; or they may find it too difficult or stressful to go to the polling station on the day.

One option to be aware of is to register for a postal vote and cast your ballot by post.

A postal voting form is attached to this note, and it is to be hoped that ward leaders encourage patients to participate in the election.

The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm on Tuesday 23 May.

It’s important to note that when you apply for a postal vote you need to give the address at which you are registered, but you can give an alternative address for your ballot paper to be sent to. This could be the hospital or the address of someone who can bring you your ballot paper.

Remember that even if it turns out that you could vote in person, there is no reason not to vote by post – you do need to give a reason and the vote will be valid as long as it arrives by 10pm on Election Day (8 June). If you are discharged home before election day and your ballot papers were sent to the hospital, do make sure you get hold of them.

In terms of eligibility to vote, every citizen has a right to a vote in UK Parliamentary elections (except for Members of the House of Lords, detained convicted prisoners, offenders detained in a mental hospital, and persons found guilty of certain corrupt or illegal practices). A mental health condition or lack of mental capacity is not in itself a legal incapacity to vote.

The decision as to whether and how to vote at an election must be made only by the voter themselves. No person has a right to prevent a person from voting on capacity related grounds – not a care home, not a deputy or donee of a Lasting Power of Attorney, nor an election officer. A person cannot vote on behalf of a person on the grounds that they lack capacity (through a proxy, or acting as a deputy or donee of a Lasting Power of Attorney).

Full information can be found here:

https://www.yourvotematters.co.uk/how-do-i-vote/voting-by-post