Advice Column: The County Council elections

Thursday 9th March 2017

As part of the Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo weekly advice column this week we focus on the forthcoming County Council elections.


The County Council elections this year will be the first time I have been eligible to vote. How does it work?


You can’t vote in the Devon County Council elections on 4 May 2017 if you’re not on the Electoral Register. You can register at: or contact your District Council. The deadline to register is midnight on 13 April 2017. It is helpful to have details of your national insurance number in order to register.


Before polling day, everyone entitled to vote will be sent a polling card.  Unless you have registered to vote by post, the card will give details of the polling station that you should attend.  For those who have registered to vote by post, it will confirm that a postal voting pack will be sent to you shortly.


Polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm on polling day. You do not need to take the polling card to the polling station when you go to vote, but it is more convenient to do so.


The deadline for an application for a postal vote or to change or cancel an existing postal or proxy vote is 5pm on 18 April 2017.


The deadline for applications to vote by proxy is 5pm on 25 April 2017.


If you’re disabled, the local Electoral Registration Office can tell you about:

  • physical access, e.g. wheelchair ramps and disabled parking spaces;
  • low-level polling booths; and
  • equipment for voters with a visual impairment.

Every polling station must provide at least 1 large print display version of the ballot paper and a special device so that blind and visually impaired people can vote.

When you arrive at the polling station, give your name and address to the staff inside. It is helpful to take your polling card with you to show who you are (but you don’t have to). You will be given a ballot paper containing a list of those you can vote for – this will show their name, address and if they are standing for a political party and the name of that party. It may also show a party emblem if it has been requested by the candidate.

  1. Take your ballot paper into the polling booth.
  2. Follow the instructions on the notices in the polling booth and on the top of the ballot paper to vote. You do not need to do anything more than place a cross in the box alongside the name of the candidate you wish to vote for.
  3. Once you have done this, put you ballot paper in the ballot box.

It’s as simple as that!


If you are voting by post, you also need to sign a separate form and include your date of birth so that local Electoral Registration Office can compare it with their records.  Don’t forget to send back this form and your completed ballot paper in the envelope provided in plenty of time so that it can be included.


We understand the results for the County Council Elections will start to be announced from 10.30am on Friday 5th May.


More information can be found at:


Look out for our column next week when we focus on debt and money problems.


The information contained in these articles does not constitute advice. Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo accept no liability for the information published. Citizens Advice Exeter is unable to respond to individual requests for advice through these columns. Copyright Citizens Advice. For the most up-to-date version, please visit the Citizens Advice website at