Get registered to vote to have your say in the local elections on 5 May
On Thursday 5 May 2022, there will be local council elections in Wales. Your local council makes decisions on issues that directly impact your local area and is responsible for local services such as social care, education, housing, local transport and parks and outdoor spaces.
The Electoral Commission is the independent body which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the UK. We work to promote public confidence in the democratic process and ensure its integrity. Ahead of elections, the Commission works to ensure all voters have the information they need to register and cast their vote with confidence.
Got 5 minutes to register to vote? To vote at the elections on 5 May, you must be registered by midnight on 14 April.
Many factors influence voter registration and turnout. But, research we published in 2019 found that one in four black and Asian people, one in six people with a learning disability and one in three young people were not correctly registered to vote.
The good news is that it only takes five minutes so you can do it while running a bath, doing laundry or waiting for your kettle do boil.
This year, 16 and 17 year olds and qualifying foreign citizens in Wales will be able to vote in local council elections for the first time. A qualifying foreign citizen is a citizen of another country who has permission to enter or stay in the UK, or who does not need such permission. You can check which elections you’re eligible to vote in using our online tool.
We know voters, particularly those that haven’t taken part before, can have questions and be unsure how the process works. Our 2021 Senedd election report found that first time voters were more likely to say they were dissatisfied with the process of voting and less likely than repeat voters to say that it was easy to get information on how to register and cast their vote.
To help inform and encourage newly enfranchised voters to register to vote, the Commission is running a ‘Welcome to your vote’ campaign. We’ll be reaching 16 and 17 year olds through Instagram and Snapchat advertising which will support partnerships, unpaid press and social media activity aimed at qualifying foreign nationals and 16 and 17 year olds. If you are interested in learning more, or work with those that do, we have promotional assets available to download including an election FAQ document in five foreign languages for those who may find it difficult to access English language information.
Additionally, the Commission has created a set of democratic education resources for young people, to help them feel confident to take part in the elections and know that their vote matters.
3 ways to cast your vote
Once registered, there are a number of ways to have your say at the elections – you can vote in a polling station, by post, or by appointing someone you trust to vote on your behalf, known as a proxy vote.
To apply to vote by post or proxy, you need to download an application form via our website and return it to your local electoral registrations office. The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm on April 19 and the deadline to apply for a proxy vote is 5pm on April 26.
If you chose to vote in person, local authorities will be following the latest public health guidance to make sure polling stations are safe places to vote. You might see some public health measures in place at the polling station, similar to those in place in other indoor venues.
In an emergency where you cannot go to the polling station in person, including self-isolating due to Covid-19, you can apply for an emergency proxy up to 5pm on Thursday 5 May 2022.
Voters can visit the ‘I am a voter’ section of our website for more information on how to register and vote.
Tel/Ffôn: 0333 103 1929