Guide to voting - Local Government Elections
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Did you know that anyone aged 16 and over, legally living in Swansea can vote in the upcoming Local government elections?
What is the Local Government?
The Local Government or 'Local Authority' in Swansea is The City and County of Swansea (Swansea Council). Swansea Council is led by Councillors, who are elected in the Local Government Elections. They are known as the 'Council Members'.
The Council Members act on behalf of the people of Swansea, making decisions about local services, budgets and the overall level of council services.
Local Government Elections On 5 May 2022
On 5 May 2022 the people of Swansea will vote for who will be elected as Council Members. This will be the first time that people aged 16 and 17 and many foreign nationals who legally live in Swansea can vote in the Local Government Elections.
There will be 75 Council Members elected. Each councillor is elected to represent a specific area also called an 'electoral ward'. Swansea will be divided into 32 areas/wards. So, some wards will have more than one Council Member representing them.
Some areas in Swansea also have a 'Community Council'. Community Councils are voluntary organisations led by local residents or 'Community Councillors'. They are responsible for delivering a wide range of services and for the provision and upkeep of local amenities. In these areas there will also be Community Council Elections held.
If you live in an area in Swansea with a Community Council, then you will have two ballot papers when voting:
- one to vote for a Councillor to represent your area in Swansea Council
- one to vote for a Community Councillor to represent your area in your Community Council.
Why do the Local Government Elections Matter?
The elected Council Members will act on behalf of your community making decisions about local services, budgets and the overall level of council services. These are services that have a direct impact on the people of Swansea such as Social Services or Education.
Who can vote in the Local Government Elections?
The following citizens can vote in the local Council Elections in Swansea:
- A British or Irish citizen
- A Commonwealth citizen who has leave to enter or remain in the UK or who does not require such leave
- A foreign national who has leave to enter or remain in the UK or who does not require such leave
- A European Union citizen
To vote in the Local Government elections, you must be:
- registered to vote,
- aged 16 or over on the day of the election,
- living in Wales
- and not legally excluded from voting.
Please note: to vote in the upcoming Local Government Elections on 05 May 2022, you must register to vote by Thursday 14 April 2022.
How do I register to vote?
Register online -www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
- You need to be 14 or over to register to vote in the local Council elections in Wales.
- You'll be asked for your National Insurance number, but you can still register if you don't have one.
It usually takes about 5 minutes to register to vote. There are step by step guides to help you fill in the online form, these guides are translated into several languages and can be found on the Swansea Council Website,click here.
Register by Post:
You can fill in a paper format of the registration form and send it by post to the Electoral Services Team at Swansea Council, address below. Click here to download and print the from.
Electoral Services, Room 216, Guildhall, Swansea, United Kingdom SA1 4PE
Register by Phone:
You can register by telephone, call the Electoral Services Team on the telephone number below.
Electoral Services Telephone number: 01792 636123
Please Note: You can register to vote by phone through the medium of English or Welsh Only. There is no other translation service for registering to vote by phone.
How do I Vote?
Vote in Person:
At Your polling station
When you vote in person, you go to the polling station allocated to you based on your address on the electoral register.
Before you go to vote, check where your polling station is. It might not be the closest one to where to you live, and it might have changed since the last time you voted. You have to go to your allocated polling station, and you can't go to a different one close to where you work, for example.
Your polling station will be on your poll card, which you'll receive through the post a few weeks before polling day.
Vote by post
If you know that you won't be able to get to the polling station on polling day, you can vote by post.
You can apply for postal vote because you're away on holiday or because your work schedule means you can't get to polling station. You can also choose to vote by post simply because it would be more convenient for you.
You will be a sent a postal vote ballot pack before the election.
You can download the postal vote application form by clicking here.
Vote by proxy
Asking a trusted person to vote on your behalf
If you know that you won't be able to get to the polling station on polling day, you can ask someone you trust to cast your vote for you. This is called a proxy vote and the person casting your vote is often referred to as your proxy.
The person voting on your behalf can either go to your polling station to cast your vote, or can apply to vote for you by post.
To apply for a proxy vote, you have to complete a form and give a reason why you can't get to your polling station in person.
This may be because you're going to be on holiday, or have a physical condition which means you can't get to your polling station on polling day.
You will need to complete a new proxy vote application if you have moved house.
A proxy vote for a specific election
Use this form to apply for a proxy vote for a specific election. This could be because you're on holiday or away for work for an upcoming polling day. Download form by clicking here
A permanent or long-term proxy vote
Use one of these forms if you won't be able to go to the polling station for the foreseeable future, or a long period of time.
The form you need to complete depends on the reason why you need a proxy vote.