General Election Day: A Guide

THE DAY IS nearly here, one that has been hanging over us all like a vaguely dull and tedious ghost for the past few months: Thursday May 7th 2015 – election day. But what actually happens on the day, where do you go to vote and how do you vote? ASM has (some of) the answers. ceredigion council logo

Firstly, after coverage of the election campaign dominating the headlines for at least the last six weeks, tomorrow will be oddly quiet. This is because broadcasters cannot be seen to be influencing voters’ decisions once the polls open.

“On polling day the BBC, in common with other broadcasters, will cease to report campaigns from 06.00 until the polls close.  Coverage will be restricted to uncontroversial factual accounts, such as the appearance of politicians at polling stations or the weather.  Subjects which have been at issue or part of the campaign, or other controversial matters relating to the election, must not receive coverage on polling day, to ensure that nothing in the BBC’s output can be construed as influencing the ballot while the polls are open.”

This will all change at 10pm tomorrow evening when the main broadcasters begin their marathon result shows. These can be found on the BBC, ITV, Sky, CNN and there’s an ‘alternative’ on Channel 4.

Where to vote in Aberystwyth 

The polling stations based in and around Aberystwyth are as follows:

  • Neuadd Cymuned/Community Hall, Waunfawr
  • Neuadd yr Eglwys/Church Hall, Llanbadarn Fawr
  • Neuadd Buarth Hall, Ffordd Stanley Road, Aberystwyth
  • Canolfan Fethodistaidd St.Paul Methodist Centre, Morfa Mawr/ Queen’s Road, Aberystwyth
  • Seindorf Arian Aberystwyth Silver Band, Coedlan y Parc/Park Avenue, Aberystwyth
  • Neuadd Goffa/Memorial Hall, Penparcau

How to vote (in person)

Chances are a lot of students are either voting in their home constituency or have voted by post. However, if you are voting on the day here in Aber, here is some basic information on how to vote.

  • Polling stations are open between 7am and 10pm.
  • You DO NOT need to take your polling card with you.
  • You’ll need to tell the staff your name and address so they can check that you’re on the electoral register.
  • The staff at the polling station will give you a ballot paper listing the parties and candidates you can vote for. You may be given more than one ballot paper if there is more than one election on the same day.
  • Take your ballot paper into a polling booth so that no one can see how you vote. Read the ballot paper carefully, it will tell you how to cast your vote. Do not write anything else on the paper or your vote may not be counted.
  • Finally, when you have marked your vote, fold the ballot paper in half and put it in the ballot box. Do not let anyone see your vote.

Final comments

For all of those selfie-obsessed people out there, technically there is nothing stopping you taking a picture. However, BE WARNED it is illegal to reveal how somebody else has voted regardless of whether this is accidentally through poor selfie taking skills or actually being stupid enough to tweet about it. So probably best to just avoid taking photos at all. Just remember “my friend X voted for X” is illegal – Under Section 66 of the Representation of the People’s Act it is a criminal offence to communicate information about the way someone has voted or is about to vote, and specifically to “directly or indirectly induce a voter to display his ballot paper after he has marked it so as to make known to any person the name of the candidate for whom he has or has not voted”.

Happy election day – May the odds be ever in your (chosen candidate’s) favour.