NHS Logo
As One Logo

Voting rights

Voting rights information for mental health service users.

On Thursday 4 July there is a general election to decide who will be the next government in the UK.  Most of our service users are able to vote and this information is to help support you if you would like to vote

Who can vote?

Green tick You must be a be registered to vote
Green tick be 18 or over on the day of the election (‘polling day’)
Green tick be a British, Irish or qualifying Commonwealth citizen
Green tick Voluntary patients in mental health hospitals can vote
Green tick Patients on a Community Treatment Order can vote
Green tick Patients who lack capacity can vote
Green tick Patients who are homeless, of no fixed abode or in B&B accommodation can vote
Green tick Prisoners remanded to hospital under Mental Health Act on Sections 35, 36 or 48 can vote
Red cross Patients detained after having been convicted of committing a criminal offence and been ordered to hospital by the Courts cannot vote.

How do I register to vote?

To vote you must be on the electoral register by 11:59pm on 18 June 2024

To register there is an online form on the Government website www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

My Vote My Voice have an Easy Read guide to help you www.myvotemyvoice.org.uk/voting/register-to-vote/how-to-register-to-vote

If I am in hospital can I register to vote using the hospital address?

If you are in hospital for a long time you can do something called a ‘declaration of local connection’.  This means you give the address of the hospital as the place you are currently living.

If you are only in hospital for a short time, you can register to vote using your address outside hospital.

Key dates for the General Election on 4 July 2024.

  • You must register to vote by 11:59pm on 18 June 2024 if you want to vote
  • If you want a proxy vote you must apply by 11:59pm on 18 June 2024.
  • If you want a postal vote you must apply by 5pm on 19 June 2024
  • Polling stations are open from 7am – 10pm on 4 July 2024

How do I vote?

In person:

On Thursday 4 July polling stations are open between 7am and 10pm to vote.
You will need to have some ID with your photograph on it.  This could include a passport, blue badge or driving licence.
By post:

You will be sent your voting papers at the end of June. Post your vote back so that it arrives by 10pm on the day of the election.

By proxy: This is where you nominate someone else to vote for you.

Can I get help to register and to cast my vote?

Yes you can. Our staff, as well as your relatives and friends, can support you to register to vote and they can also support you to cast your vote.  No one should tell you how to vote - that is your choice.

You can also choose to have someone over the age of 18 to accompany you into the polling booth and even help you mark the ballot paper if you want them to. 

I don’t have any photo ID, can I still vote?

If you don’t have photo ID you can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate.  There is a form on the Government website and you need to ask for the certificate before 5pm on 26 June 2024.


Applying for an emergency proxy vote

If, on or after 27 June 2024, you are admitted to one of our wards, or detained under the civil section of the Mental Health Act 1983, you are still able to vote if you wish to. You will already need to be registered to vote but if you are, you can apply to vote by emergency proxy. This means that you will nominate someone to vote on your behalf. You would need to apply by 5pm on Thursday 4 July.

The form to apply is available here: Application to vote by emergency proxy in England based on disability

Where can I get more information?

Easy Read guide to registering to vote:


Easy Read guide to voting:

ERUK-England-Register-to-vote-EasyRead-Amends-v1.pages (electoralcommission.org.uk)

Video on mental health voting rights


Alzheimer’s society guide to voting - dementia doesn’t change your right to vote


My vote, My Voice: Information for those with learning disabilities and/or autism


Register to vote


Apply for a Voter Authority Certificate if you don’t have photo ID.


Please click here to download an information sheet on voting rights for mental health patients. 

Contact Us