Voting FAQs

What is the council doing to combat electoral fraud?

In July 2014, the Electoral Commission published a report. It recognised that the measures Tower Hamlets put in place to combat fraud, were some of the most detailed and robust in the country.

It also said that our response, working alongside the police, to allegations of fraud was prompt and thorough.

We are building on the excellent electoral processes that we already have in place. We have set up an enhanced joint training operation for polling staff and police.

This will ensure that any fraudulent activity at polling stations is identified and dealt with. Strong partnership working between the council, Electoral Commission and the police will ensure that any complaints are investigated and resolved.

secure web portal has now been set up for reporting electoral malpractice that immediately permeates to all stakeholders with a reference supplied to the complainant. 

If you wish to report any incident of electoral malpractice you can use the portal but can also do so anonymously by calling Crimestoppers 0800 555 111 or visit

Where is my polling station?

Prior to every election the council's Returning Officer will send a polling card to all registered electors detailing how to vote and where and when to vote.

On the card there is a map and the location of your allocated polling station and if you have a postal vote when that will be sent to you.

Check where your polling station is.

If you do not receive your polling card, you can call the electoral services team on 020 7364 0872 to check that you are registered to vote but it is not a requirement to produce it at the polling station.

The office will be very busy during election time.

I have lost my polling card can I still vote?

You do not need to take your polling card to the polling station. If you have lost your polling card, go to your polling station, and show your Voter ID. Once checked tell the staff your full name and address. You can then vote.

Do I need to take photographic identification (Voter ID) into the polling station?

Photographic identification must be shown at a polling station to enable you to receive a ballot paper/s and cast your vote. Further information is available on the Elections Act 2022 page.

If you do not have any of the approved documents, you may apply for a Voter Authority Certificate.

This can be completed online, or you may come into the Town Hall and submit a paper application to the electoral services team.

If you want assistance completing an application visit the Town Hall and the team will complete your application. Ask for electoral services at the reception and a member of the team will assist you, take a head shot photograph and apply on your behalf.

What happens in a polling station?

When you arrive at the polling station, you will be asked to show your photographic identification to the staff on duty. If the form of identification is acceptable the staff member will ask for your name and address. This is so they can check that you are on the electoral register and a ballot paper/s will be issued to you.

If the photographic identification is not acceptable the Presiding Officer will explain why. You may need to leave the station and go home to get an alternative that you can return to the polling station with.

The Presiding Officer may also ask you “prescribed questions” and this will be explained to you on the day.

If you want to have your voter identification checked in private there will be facilities provided in the polling place for you to do this with a member of the polling station staff.

Please ask the staff on duty and they will help you with this.

Once the necessary checks have been completed, the staff at the polling station will give you the ballot paper(s) for the polls being held. You can then go to the polling booth to mark the ballot papers.

Follow the instructions in the polling booth or your vote may not be counted.

The council, the Returning Officer, the Metropolitan Police and the Electoral Commission work closely to ensure that all voters can cast their vote(s) securely and that you can exercise your right to vote in secret.

If you need assistance to cast your vote, please ask the staff on duty and they will advise you how this can be arranged.

For more information visit the Commissions Your Vote is Yours Alone campaign.

What time are the polling stations open?

Polling stations will be open from 7am and close at 10pm.

The location of your polling station is printed on your poll card or you can find your polling station via our polling sation finder.

I have lost/not received my postal vote?

If your postal vote pack has not been received or has been spoiled, we can issue a replacement postal vote pack to you from the Town Hall:

Tower Hamlets Town Hall
160 Whitechapel Road
E1 1BJ

If you have received your postal pack and have destroyed it or thrown it away by mistake, you cannot obtain a replacement.

If you have spoiled your postal paper/pack, please bring it to the Town Hall, we will cancel that pack and reissue you with another. Replacing packs is subject to specific deadlines stipulated in the timetable set for each poll that is taking place.

You must bring photographic ID with you to the Town Hall if you wish to receive a replacement postal pack.

The date that an application to apply for a replacement pack will be subject to the specific timetables that apply to elections and will be detailed here when any the election or poll commences.

When will the votes be counted?

This is dependent on what election is being held. Once determined information will be posted on this page.

All the results will be available on the council's website and social media once they’ve been declared. If you want to attend the count entry is strictly by invitation only.

How do you know that people who are voting are legitimate?

The council has worked hard to ensure that the borough’s electorate are correctly registered under a system known as Individual Electoral Register (IER). This will ensure everyone's details have been verified before adding them to the register.

During the election timetable, the electoral services team will also carry out extra checks on late applications to register. Where practicable, they will check all addresses with more than six people registered to vote.

I can’t find my polling station using the interactive map – the page doesn’t load

This is unfortunate but during busy periods our maps take longer to load. Please try again at a different time or contact the office and we can have a look for you.

I can’t get to a polling station – I’m just going to get a friend to go for me.

Presiding Officers at Polling Stations must follow formal processes when issuing ballot papers and checking voter identification.

There are implications if someone acts on your behalf and votes for you unofficially potentially committing a serious offence.

Please contact the elections team on 020 7364 0872 and we will advise you. It might be possible for you to appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf, this subject to an official application and deadline so contact the office as soon as possible.

In certain circumstances where an elector finds they can’t attend the polling station they may be able to apply for an emergency proxy on these grounds:

  • You have a medical emergency.
  • You are away for work
  • Your photographic ID is lost, stolen, destroyed or damaged and the deadline to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate has passed. This form can also be used if your Anonymous Elector's Document is lost, stolen, destroyed or damaged.

Emergency proxy applications can be made up to 5pm on polling day.

More detail on applications to vote by proxy and emergency proxies can be found on the Electoral Commission website.

Where can I find out more information about elections in Tower Hamlets?

You can write to Electoral Services at:

Tower Hamlets Town Hall
160 Whitechapel Road
E1 1BJ

Enquiries relating to Elections should be addressed to the Returning Officer (RO) and electoral registration enquiries addressed to the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO).