Elections 2024: everything you need to know

Voter ID

The Mayor of London and London Assembly elections are taking place on 2 May. Make sure you’re ready to vote. Here's everything you need to know

Voter ID

If voting in person on 2 May, for the first time, Brent and Harrow voters will need to show photo ID at the polling station. There are several accepted forms of ID, including:

  • Passport
  • Driving licence
  • Multiple concessionary travel passes
  • PASS card (Proof of Age Standards Scheme)
  • Blue badge
  • Voter Authority Certificate

You will be able to use expired ID if you are still recognisable from the photo, but it still must be one of these approved forms.

Remember, no ID means no vote.

Postal voting

If voting by post, we must receive your postal vote by the time the polls close on 2 May for it to be counted, so please remember to post it in plenty of time.

If you cannot post your postal vote in time, you can take it to a local polling station.

From 2 May, for the first time, there will be a limit on how many postal votes you can hand in at a local polling station. You will be only able to hand in your own postal vote, and the postal votes of up to five other people.

If handing in any postal votes, even your own, you will also need to complete a short form.

Polling station

There are 129 polling station across Harrow. Yours will be at a short walking distance from you. Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm on Thursday 2 May. Your polling letter (also known as a poll card) will tell you which polling station to go to. You can only vote at the polling station location in your letter. You can also check your polling station online.

You do not need to bring your polling letter with you to the polling station, but it does make it easier for the polling station staff to find you on the electoral register if you do.

Kim Wright, Constituency Returning Officer for Brent and Harrow and Chief Executive of Brent Council, said:

“There is not long to go until the elections on 2 May. Remember, this is the first year that Brent and Harrow voters will be required to bring photo ID with them to the polling station so it is really important that we all spread the word.

“Please take the time now to find an approved form of photo ID and check where your polling station is or, if voting by post, complete your postal vote and return this to us in plenty of time.

“The Mayor of London and London Assembly make important decisions about how the capital is run, so please do take the time to vote and help shape your city. Your vote matters, don’t lose it!”

Find out more about the upcoming elections at  www.harrow.gov.uk/elections



Frequently asked questions

Can I vote using my own pencil or pen? 

Yes, you can. Pencils will be provided in your polling station, but you can use your own pencil or pen if you prefer.

Where can I find out about candidates? 

Details of all candidates are published on the London Elects website.

Is there anything I shouldn’t do in a polling station? 

We ask voters not to stay in the polling station longer than necessary or chat to other voters, especially about politics. Do not take pictures in a polling station, even of your own ballot paper.  

Why do election staff have iPads? 

Rather than look up voters’ details on a paper list, polling staff will use iPads. The process of issuing ballots is otherwise unchanged and voters will continue to vote on paper. The technology makes the process quicker and is fully secure.

This technology is used by councils across England and Wales, and is is compliant with international standard of information security and the National Cyber Security Centre. 

Is the election secure and fair? 

Absolutely. Protecting and upholding your democratic rights is a fundamental legal duty of the council. It’s one we take extremely seriously. We carry out this core function to the highest standards and in full compliance with the law. 

More than 1000 staff will work on this election - Poll Clerks and Presiding Officers in our polling stations, Polling Station Inspectors, our count staff and more working behind the scenes are all trusted and highly-trained individuals - many also have extensive elections experience.  

Our staff operate apolitically and will not influence the choice of voters in any way. 

Presiding Officers (one for each polling station) are responsible for their ballot boxes. Boxes are secured at the opening of the polls and are not opened until the count. They maintain responsibility for boxes throughout polling day until returning them to a secure venue once polls close at 10pm.

Ballot boxes are guarded by security staff overnight until the count the following day.  

If the ballot is secret, why was my ballot paper number recorded against my name?  

This is the process established in law for issuing ballots in all UK elections. Records of ballots issued are sealed once polls close and can only be opened by an order from the High Court.

What happens to my vote after it’s been counted? 

In accordance with the law, all records from this election and all ballot papers will be securely stored for 1 year. Once this period has passed, they will be destroyed. 

What happens if I make a mistake on my ballot paper? 

Don’t worry, you can get another one, providing the one marked in error doesn’t go in the ballot box. Go back to the desk where your ballot was issued and tell the polling staff you’ve made a mistake and need a new ballot paper. Your spoilt ballot paper will be put in a separate envelope, so it can be accounted for later, but not counted.  

Are polling stations accessible? 

Yes, all our polling stations are wheelchair accessible – some may have a separate ramped entrance that will be signposted. All have a low voting booth and aids to help visually impaired voters. If you need any assistance, staff at your polling station will be happy to help. 

Do I have to give my voter number to a teller outside my polling station?

No. Tellers are party representatives who help to assess turnout. They are recognised within the electoral process but are not an official part of it. Tellers should identify which party they represent and are permitted to ask only for voter numbers (as printed on polling cards). They can approach the voter on entering or leaving the polling station.

I forgot to post my postal vote in time – can it still be counted? 

If you have an unreturned postal vote, it's not too late to vote. You can put your completed ballot pack in a Harrow post box, even if it’s late in the day. Royal Mail are organising a final sweep at 9.30 pm.

Alternatively, you can hand your completed ballot in at any polling station before 10pm. 

There is now a limit on the number of postal votes you can hand in at the polling station. You can only return the postal votes of up to five other people plus your own. You'll also need to complete a postal vote return form

When does the count take place?

The count will start on Friday 3 May with the verification of votes, and the count on Saturday 4 May. It will be conducted at Byron Hall. The count is not a public event. As well as count staff, only election agents, counting agents, candidates, their guests and the media can attend. The count is due to start at 9am. 

When will the results be announced? 

Declarations will be made Saturday 4 May.  You can follow the action live and get all the results first by following the council’s X feed (formerly known as Twitter) @harrow_council



Published: 26th April 2024