Electoral Register

To be able to vote you must be on the electoral register.

Register to vote online

To check if you are on this register contact the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) on 0131 344 2500.

The Electoral Registration Officer for the Lothian area is based at:

Lothian Valuation Joint Board, 17a South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9FL.

Email the Electoral Registration Officer

Visit the Lothian Valuation Joint Board website


Vote in person

On election day, go to your local polling place. Polling place opening hours are 7am - 10pm. If you need assistance, staff will help you or you can ask to have a companion with you when you vote.

Tell the staff inside the polling place your name and address so they can check that you are on the electoral register. You can show them your poll card, but you do not need it to vote.  For UK General Election, show poll staff your photo ID.

The poll staff 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 explain how to cast your vote. Do not write anything else on the paper or your vote may not be counted.

Finally, when you have marked your vote, fold the ballot paper in half and put it in the ballot box. Do not let anyone see your vote. If you are not clear on what to do, ask the staff at the polling station to help you.


Voter ID

In the UK you are legally required to show photo identification (ID) when voting at a polling station at some elections. You can check which elections require photo ID at www.electoralcommission.org.uk/voter.

You may already have a form of photo ID that is acceptable - you can use any of the following:

  • passport
  • driving licence (including provisional licence)
  • blue badge
  • certain concessionary travel cards
  • identity card with PASS mark (Proof of Age Standards Scheme)
  • biometric immigration document
  • defence identity card
  • certain national identity cards

You will only need to show one form of photo ID, but it must be the original version and not a photocopy. The name on your ID must be the same name you used to register to vote.
For more information, including the full list of accepted forms of photo ID, visit the Electoral Commission website or call their helpline on 0800 328 0280.


Voter Authority Certificate

If you don’t already have an accepted form of photo ID, or you’re not sure if your photo ID still looks like you, you can apply for a free voter ID document, known as a Voter Authority Certificate.  The deadline to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate for use at a particular election is 5pm, 6 working days before the date of that election.

Apply for photo ID to vote.


Accessibility at Polling Places

Everyone should have the right to vote on their own and in secret.  We offer a range of support and equipment to enable people to vote independently. 

For UK General Elections, you can take a trusted companion, who is over the age of 18, to the polling station to help you vote.  They will be permitted to help you in the polling booth should you need them to and will be asked to complete a form by the polling station staff. 

Electors are permitted to bring along their own equipment to assist them in voting, such as coloured overlays to place over the ballot papers or using apps on their mobile phone to assist with reading the information.

You can ask for a postal vote if you would rather not go to vote in person or have difficulty getting there.  You can also apply for a proxy vote to allow someone to vote on your behalf.

The following provisions will be in place at polling places to support our electors:

  • chair/seating for voters who cannot stand for long periods
  • wheelchair accessible polling booth
  • magnifiers to increase the size of text
  • large print sample copies of the ballot paper will be available for reference
  • tactile voting device – this provides support for voters who are visually impaired to mark their vote on the ballot paper in the correct place
  • pencil grips to assist voters with dexterity impairments
  • polling place staff will be on hand to assist voters.  All staff will be wearing a badge stating their role and Information Officers can be identified by their hi viz vests.

If you would like to make a request, in advance of polling day, for additional support in your polling place, please email elections@eastlothian.gov.uk


Additional Resources

Mencap have created a series of mini, easy read guides for people with a learning disability, which give information on the different ways to vote for different local elections:

RNIB have a guide about voting if you are blind or partially sighted:


Postal and proxy votes

Anyone who cannot attend the polling place to cast their vote in person can apply to vote by post or can nominate another person (proxy) to vote on their behalf. 

For UK Parliamentary General Elections you can:

Apply to vote by post on the UK Governement website 


Apply for a proxy vote on the UK Government website

You must be registered to vote in the UK before you can apply.


Find out more

If you have any questions or to find out more, go to the Electoral Commission website,

or call their helpline on 0333 103 1928.