What is voting?

What is voting?

A group of people standing in front of a row of voting booths

People with a learning disability have as much right to vote as anyone else.

This guide explains what voting is and who can vote

A group of people sitting around a table raising their hands. Underneath is text that reads "Vote."

When a group of people vote, it is called an election.

There are different elections in the UK that we can vote in.

A man in a suit with the Houses of Parliament behind him

We vote for someone to represent us and make decisions for us. 

They make important decisions that can affect people’s lives.

a policeman is standing next to a law book

For example, the government makes important decisions that can change: 

  • education services
  • how people with a learning disability get support 
  • how people with a learning disability get healthcare
A list of council responsibilities with a council building behind

Local councils make decisions about lots of issues like:

  • how often your rubbish is collected
  • improving the roads in your area
  • making local sports facilities better
Four people wearing ID badges are standing outside the council offices

You might also hear local councils called local government or local authorities.

The people who represent you in local councils are called councillors.  

A man in a wheelchair has his finger in the air with a picture of a light bulb next to him

Different councillors will have different ideas about the best way to run local services.

A man with his hand raised in the air to ask a question.

Who can vote?

To vote in the 2024 General Election, you must:

A group of people standing in front of a graphic of a voting ballot paper
  • be registered to vote
  • be 18 or over on the day of the election (called the ‘polling day’)
  • be a British, Irish or qualifying Commonwealth citizen
  • live at an address in the UK or living abroad and registered as an overseas voter
  • not be legally excluded from voting
A voting register form

You have to be registered if you want to vote.

You can find out more about how to register to vote on the My Vote My Voice website.

A hand holding a card with a photograph of a face and ID written on it.

If you want to vote in person, you will need to have identification (ID) to prove who you are.

You can find out more about what kinds of ID are OK and what to do if you don't have any ID on with this easy read guide.