General Election: a guide to voting for carers 

General Election 2024 

There will be a General Election in the UK on Thursday 4 July.
In the election, vote for the candidate you want to be your Member of Parliament (MP).  
The political party with the largest number of MPs will have the opportunity to form the next Government. That government will make decisions impacting the daily lives of millions of unpaid carers. 
To be able to vote in the General Election – you will need to register to vote.  
It’s important to have your voice heard. There are at least 5 million adult carers in the UK. So carers’ votes will make a difference.

Registering to vote

You have until 18 June to register. It’s a simple process and should not take more than 5 minutes. To register to vote here.
Once registered, you will receive a Polling Card before the Election. 

Voter ID

You will need an approved form of photo ID to vote in this General Election.

This is a new requirement in England, Scotland and Wales. 

A list of the forms of ID you can use is on the Electoral Commission’s website and includes a passport, a Driving Licencse or Blue Badge.  
Check the list and if you do not have a form of ID that is accepted, then you can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate. This is free and will allow you to vote.  
Please note: You must have registered to vote before applying for a Voter Authority Certificate.  
The deadline to apply for this is Wednesday 26 June. 
Apply for a photo ID to vote

Registering for a postal vote

As a carer, you might want to register for a postal vote in case a caring emergency means you can’t go in person. You don’t need to give a reason for why you are registering for a postal vote unless you are voting in Northern Ireland.   
You can register for a postal vote here.
You’ll receive a ballot paper through the post. Make sure you return it by election day (4 July).

Proxy voting – supporting the person you care for to vote  

As a carer, you may also need to consider 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. You can apply for a proxy vote here.
The deadline for a proxy vote is 5pm on Wednesday 26 June. 

Emergency on the day of the vote  

If you have registered to vote but face an emergency on the day of the vote, you should contact your local council as soon as possible but this must be before 5pm on the day.  Your council should be able to tell you how you and the person you care for will be able to vote.   

On the day of the vote

You don’t need to take your polling card.  But you can only vote at the location that is stated on the polling card. Don’t forget you will need your photo ID to vote at the polling station. 

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 in getting 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 campaign throughout the campaign for better support for carers – in health and social care, financially and in education. 
Find out more about what Carers Trust want the next Government to do
Find out more about voting in UK Elections here.