There will be a General Election in the UK on Thursday 12 December.

In the election, you can vote for your Member of Parliament (MP). If you want your voice heard on the day, you will need to register to vote. If you have not registered, you will not be able to vote on the day. 

Below is information about: how to register to vote; how to register for a postal vote; and how to register as a proxy voter for the person you care for – if that is what they want.

Registering to vote

You have until 11.59pm on 26 November to register to vote in person. It’s a simple process and should not take more than 5 minutes. If you want your voice heard on 12 December, you must register to vote. To register to vote, visit this page: gov.uk/register-to-vote 

You’ll receive a card telling you when and where you can vote.

Registering for a postal vote 

As a carer, you might want to register for a postal vote in case of a caring emergency. You don’t need to give a reason for why you are registering for a postal vote unless you are voting in Northern Ireland. If you want to apply to vote by post, register before:

5pm on 21 November if you live in Northern Ireland

5pm on 26 November if you live in England, Scotland or Wales

You can register for a postal vote by visiting this page: Register for a postal vote 

You’ll receive a ballot paper through the post. Make sure you return it by election day (12 December). If you forget to post it, you can hand in your postal vote at your local polling station or place on the day of the election. 

Proxy voting and supporting the person you care for to vote

As a carer, you may also need to think about whether the person you care for needs your support to vote. One way of doing this is through a proxy vote. This means that the person you care for will give you permission to fill out the ballot paper on their behalf.  However, both you (as a carer) and the person you care for still need to be registered to vote. To vote by proxy, you need to apply by 5pm on 21 November if you live in Northern Ireland, or 5pm on 4 December if you live in England, Scotland or Wales. You can apply for a proxy vote in England, Scotland or Wales by visiting this page: Vote by proxy or apply for a proxy vote in Northern Ireland by visiting this page Vote by proxy in Northern Ireland

On the day of the vote, you may need to explain to the people working at the polling station or place why you need to help the person you care for to vote. 

On the day of the vote

You don’t need to take your polling card. 

Getting to the polling station or polling place

Some candidates’ parties may offer you and/or the person you care for a lift to the polling station or place. Your local council will not be able to assist you to get to the polling station. If you think getting to the polling station or polling place will be difficult, you may wish to ask for a postal vote.

Carers Trust during the General Election  

Carers Trust will continue to campaign for better support for carers. Carers Trust, together with local carers services, carers and supporters will be asking all candidates from all political parties to pledge to support carers - you can read more about that here carers.org/think-carer-2019.

We also have an easy-to-use election tool and template letters to help you contact the people who are standing to be your MP. 

If you want to be involved in or find out more about our election campaign, you can email campaigns@carers.org 

Getting your voice heard

You may want to speak directly to your local candidates in the run-up to the election. This could be your chance to talk about issues you face as a carer and what you think needs to change to make sure that carers are better supported in the future. Or you might want to ask questions about another topic that you feel strongly about.

In the run-up to the election, meetings – called hustings – are held across the country. These are meetings where candidates will face questions about what they plan to do if they are elected. 

Hustings are being organised across the country, and are usually advertised in the local press, and on social media sites like Facebook. You could also contact your local carers services to ask if they know of any hustings happening in your area, or your local candidates directly.

If you want to find out who the candidates are in your area, your elections office will publish a list of their name, address, and the name of their party – if they have one. You can find your local elections office on the Electoral Commission site by entering your postcode. 

You may wish to visit candidate websites, party websites, or write to the party or candidate for more information. Some candidates or their representatives might visit all the homes on your street or in your building, so when they come to you you could ask them questions on the doorstep. If you use social media, you could post questions for your candidate on Twitter and Facebook if you can’t get to a hustings or local event held by a candidate. 

Social media

If you’re on Twitter – it would be great if you could share the campaign on there. There is a tweet as part of the campaign action, but here are some other suggested tweets. If you want to write your own that’s great! Remember to include #ThinkCarer2019 and #GE2019
 
Not long to go now - ask your MP candidates to #ThinkCarer2019. Will they pledge to support unpaid #carers? #GE2019
 
On 12 December we elect a new government. Make sure your next MP pledges to #ThinkCarer2019 #GE2019
 
Unpaid #carers in the UK need to be supported. Ask your next MP to #ThinkCarer2019 #GE2019

If you would like to share posts on Facebook, please email campaigns@carers.org and we can send you some ideas