Register to vote
Will you turn 18 on or before 9 November?
You can vote in the local elections on 9 November – and help decide who will be the next Mayor of Hackney.
The Mayor leads the Council, and councillors represent residents and their wards (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.
These elections are an important opportunity to make your voice heard and have a say on who represents you on issues that directly affect day-to-day life here in Hackney.
Council elections take place every four years.
- Thursday 9 November: Polling Day (7am–10pm)
- Friday 10 November: Votes are counted and winners declared.
Who can vote?
Your name must be included on the Register of Electors for Hackney. If you’re not registered, you can’t vote.
All registered British, Commonwealth, Irish and European Union citizens are entitled to vote. British overseas electors are not entitled to vote. All voters must be 18 years of age on or before 9 November 2023.
If you’re a student, make sure you’re registered at the correct address.
Who needs to register or reregister?
- If you have turned 18 on or before 9 November 2023
- If you have never registered before
- If you have moved house recently
- If you have recently changed your name.
Register here: hackney.gov.uk/registering-to-vote
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 their 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
- Applications for new postal votes have to be received by the Council by 5pm on 19 April.
- 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 up until the deadline date of 19 April will be despatched later.
- If you have not received it by 29 April, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8356 3232.
- Please 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 iit to a polling station on Election Day.
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: hackney.gov.uk/ways-to-vote or call 020 8356 3232.
Emergency proxy voters
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 for an emergency proxy vote here: hackney.gov.uk/ways-to-vote or call 020 8356 3232.
How to vote for The Mayor
You will have two votes – one for your first choice candidate and one for your second choice.
- To vote for your first choice, mark a cross in the first choice column.
- To vote for your second choice, mark a cross in the second choice column.
- You do not have to mark a second choice if you do not want to.
- If you vote for the same candidate twice, your second vote will not be counted.
Why two votes for one Mayor?
The law states that the voting process for Mayoral elections must be done this way. It allows you to say who would be your second choice for Mayor if your first choice is not in the top two after the first round of counting, and if there is not an outright majority winner at that stage.
What happens if I don’t make a second choice?
Your first choice will still be counted.
What happens if I only make an X in the second choice column?
Your vote will not be counted because no one will know who your first choice candidate was.
What if I mark an X in the first choice column for more than one candidate?
Your vote will not be counted.
What to do if you make a mistake on your ballot paper
- Don’t put it in the ballot box, speak to polling staff
- Your spoilt paper will be taken from you, and will be placed in a secure envelope.
When to vote
- Polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm on Thursday 9 November 2023
- 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
- If there’s a queue at this time, you’ll still be able to vote if you were in the polling station, or queue to get in, before the 10pm deadline.