Election information

Shadow of hand posting paper into ballot box

A UK Parliamentary Election (or General Election) has been called for Thursday 4th July 2024.

Voters in the Argyll, Bute and South Lochaber UK Parliamentary Constituency will be asked to elect a Member of Parliament (MP) to represent them at the UK Parliament. Only people who are registered to vote in that constituency will be able to take part.

Pippa Milne, the Returning Officer for Argyll and Bute has published the Notice of Election on 31st May 2024, as required by legislation. This can be found on the council’s Elections web page where there is also information about voting and registering to vote. If you want to check whether you are registered, you can call the Electoral Registration Office on 0800 980 0470.  Anyone can check their registration status at any time.

The pre-election period starts immediately and there are particular requirements and restrictions for council staff during this time. This is to ensure that no individual or political party standing for election can make use of council resources for their own political purposes. There is more information about this in the Pre-Election Guidance Note

It is possible that, in the course of your work, people and customers may ask you questions about the election.  Some of these are covered below and in the FAQ note attached at the bottom of the page.

Some questions you may be asked:

Can I vote in the UK Parliamentary (General) Election?

You can vote in a UK Parliamentary (General) Election if:

      • You are registered to vote

      • You are 18 or older on the day of the election (you can vote from your 18th birthday)

      • You are a British, Irish or qualifying Commonwealth citizen

      • You are resident at an address in the UK or are living abroad and registered as an overseas voter

      • You are not legally excluded from voting

    Do I need photographic ID to vote?

    For UK Parliamentary (General) Elections, you will need photographic ID if you want to vote in person at a polling station. There are several different types of ID you can use – find the list on our website here. It’s important to make sure you have valid photo ID with you when you go to the polling station, otherwise you may not be able to vote.

    What if I don’t have any of the forms of ID listed on the website?

    You still have a number of options even if you don’t have any of the types of photo ID listed.

    You can choose to vote by post or by proxy (where someone else comes to the polling station to cast your vote on your behalf).

    You can apply for a postal vote online at Apply to vote by post | Electoral Commission

    You can apply for a proxy vote online at Apply for a proxy vote – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

    Or, you can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate which you can use at the polling station instead of photo ID. You can do this online – find out more at Apply for photo ID to vote (called a ‘Voter Authority Certificate’) – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) If you need a Voter Authority Certificate for the 2024 General Election, you will need to apply by 5pm on Wednesday 26th June 2024.

    Why do I need to bring photo ID?

    The Elections Act 2022 made it a legal requirement for photo ID to be used when voting at polling stations, for certain types of elections, from May 2023. This is the first time that voters in the Argyll, Bute and South Lochaber UK Parliamentary Constituency  will have to use photo ID when voting at a polling station.

    When do I need to register to vote?

    It’s best to register as early as possible, but the deadline for registration for this election is midnight on Tuesday 18th June 2024.   

    How do I register to vote?

    It’s quick and easy – you can register online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote or you can call the Electoral Registration Office on 0800 980 0470 to ask for a form by post. They can also check whether you’re already registered if you’re not sure.

    I’m away from home on polling day – how can I vote?

    You can apply for a postal vote – there are no special conditions for this. The deadline for this is 5pm on Wednesday 19th June 2024.  You can also apply to vote by proxy, where someone you trust votes on your behalf. You need to do this by 5pm on Wednesday 26th June 2024. You need to be registered to vote first. 

    If you are asking a proxy to vote on your behalf, they too must be registered to vote first. The Electoral Registration Office handles registration applications as well as applications for postal or proxy votes.

    You can find out how to apply at Apply for a proxy vote – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

    I can’t get to the polling station on the day of the election – how can I vote?

    If you know in advance, then you can apply for a postal vote or proxy vote – see above.

    In the case of an emergency, it is possible to apply for an emergency proxy – the deadline for this is 5pm on polling day, Thursday 4th July 2024. Emergency proxies are granted for properly vouched medical reasons or occupational circumstances arising after the original proxy deadline of 26th June

    Is my polling station accessible for people with disabilities?

    Every effort is made to ensure that people with disabilities are able to access their local polling stations. Our polling places have access or movable ramps and booths which are wheelchair accessible. There may be some situations where access is more challenging given the rural and remote locations of polling places across the area.

    Can someone help me at the polling station?

    Staff at polling stations will be happy to give you advice about the voting process itself. If you need help to cast your vote, it may be possible although certain rules apply:

    A voter with disabilities is a voter who has made a declaration that he or she is so incapacitated by his or her blindness or other disability, or by his or her inability to read, as to be unable to vote in this election without assistance. The appropriate form must be completed at the polling station.

    The council’s Elections Team is always on hand to answer any questions you may have or any queries directed from customers. You can contact them on 01546 603264 or elections@argyll-bute.gov.uk

    The Electoral Registration Office can be contacted on 0800 980 0470 or email ero-abc@dab-vjb.gov.uk

    The FAQs below note the types of enquiry that each office would normally deal with.

    Below are some web links to find out more about elections and voting:

    Argyll and Bute Council’s Elections web page has lots of information including voter registration, photo ID requirements, election timescales and more at Elections | Argyll and Bute Council (argyll-bute.gov.uk)

    www.gov.uk/register-to-vote – online voter registration

    www.electoralcommission.org.uk – the independent body which oversees elections in the UK

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