Your guide to the local elections on 5 May

I vote hackney

Hackney residents are being urged to take part in local elections on 5 May in order to vote for the Mayor of Hackney and for local councillors.

The Mayor leads the Council, and councillors represent residents and their ward (designated areas of the borough in which you live) and together they make decisions affecting the lives of everyone in the borough.

Hackney has 21 wards: 15 wards represented by three councillors; and six wards represented by two councillors.

Council elections take place every four years.

How do I vote?

Every registered elector receives a poll card which explains where you should vote. For details of your polling station, you can also visit: hackney.gov.uk/elections

  • Go to your designated polling station
  • You can only vote at the polling station listed on your polling card. If you go to another station you will not be able to vote there
  • If you can’t get to your polling station you can vote via a postal vote or proxy vote
  • Tell the polling staff your name and address so they can check that you are on the electoral register. You can show them your poll card, but you don’t need it to vote
  • Polling staff will give you two ballot papers – one for the Mayor and one for your ward councillors
  • Take your ballot papers into a polling booth so that no one can see how you vote
  • Read the ballot papers carefully, they will tell you how to cast your votes
  • Don’t write anything else on the papers or your vote may not be counted
  • When you have marked your votes, fold the ballot papers in half and put them in the correct ballot box
  • Do not let anyone see – or influence – your vote
  • If you are still not sure what to do, ask the polling staff to help you.

Voting by post 

  • If you have registered for a postal vote, a pack will be posted to the address you requested from 22 April
  • Postal votes are sent in batches depending upon the date you applied. Existing postal votes and new applications up to 13 March will be sent on around 22 April. Applications after this date, and will be despatched later
  • If you have not received your postal vote by 29 April, email: electoralservices@hackney.gov.uk; or call: 020 8356 3232
  • Ensure your completed ballot is received by the Returning Officer before 10pm on 5 May
  • The Council is encouraging people to ensure they post back their vote in good time, to avoid needing to take it to a polling station on Election Day.

Proxy vote

  • You can appoint someone else to cast your vote on your behalf if you wish.
  • Proxy voter applications must be received by the Council by 5pm on 26 April.
  • Apply here; or call: 020 8356 3232.

Emergency proxy vote 

  • If you are unexpectedly taken ill, or are suddenly called away for work purposes after 5pm on 26 April, and cannot go to vote in person, you can appoint an emergency proxy to vote for you.
  • You will have to give a reason why you cannot vote in person and your application must be supported by a doctor or your employer.
  • Apply here for an emergency proxy vote; or call: 020 8356 3232.

Polling day 

  • Polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm on 5 May
  • You must be inside the actual polling station, or have been issued with a wristband indicating you are in the queue for polling, by 10pm in order to still get a ballot paper.

The count and results 

  • The count will take place on 6 May. Results will be posted on the Council’s website and on Twitter: @hackneycouncil
  • A copy of the results will be available to view at Hackney Town Hall.

Voter fraud

Your vote is yours alone. Whether you vote at a polling station, by post, or via a proxy, it’s your personal decision. It’s illegal for anyone to influence you to vote against your will. Electoral fraud is a serious crime and those who commit it can be sentenced to time in prison.

Voter fraud can take many different forms. No-one, not even a partner or family member, is allowed to:

  • Pressure you into voting a certain way
  • Offer you something in exchange for your vote
  • Pretend to be you at the polling station
  • Complete your postal vote for you.

If someone tries to take your vote, or the vote of anyone you know, call the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on: 0800 555 111; or visit: crimestoppers-uk.org