Renfrewshire Council

How to vote

How to register to vote, postal and proxy voting, polling stations, health and safety, young voters, new voters, support for disabled voters, candidates and electoral agents, timeline and notice of election.

On this page: 

Register to vote

If you've never voted before, moved house or changed your name recently, you need to register to be able to vote in the next election.

Take five minutes now to register to vote to ensure you are eligible for future elections.

Postal voting

You may prefer to vote by post - but please be assured that polling stations are safe places to vote.  

If you don't want to vote in-person, you need to register in advance for a postal or postal proxy vote.

If you want to this at future elections then register for a postal vote.

Completed applications should be sent to the Electoral Registration Office, The Robertson Centre, 16 Glasgow Rd, Paisley PA1 3QF.

You can use Royal Mail priority post boxes for returning your applications. Find your nearest here - Priority post boxes.

If you forget to post your postal vote in time, you can hand it in to any polling station in Renfrewshire on polling day.

You can request a replacement for a lost or spoiled postal vote until 10pm on polling day by calling the Election Office on 0141 618 2300.

For any questions, you can call 0300 300 0150 or email Electoral Registration Officer.

Proxy voting

To vote through via proxy - where someone votes on your behalf -, register for a proxy vote.

Completed applications should be sent to the Electoral Registration Office, The Robertson Centre, 16 Glasgow Rd, Paisley PA1 3QF.

For any questions, you can call 0300 300 0150 or email Electoral Registration Officer.

Emergency proxy voting

Applications to vote by emergency proxy must reach the Electoral Registration Officer by 5pm on polling day.

You can apply on the grounds of:

  • disability suffered after the deadline - or, for applicants who suffered a disability before the deadline, your disability means that you could not reasonably have made an application in time
  • work/service reasons
    • you must have become aware that you cannot go to the polling station in person after the deadline for a proxy vote
  • following Scottish Government advice or the advice of a medical professional in relation to coronavirus
  • being detained in a hospital under the civil sections of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003
  • being a Scottish prisoners serving a sentence of 12 months or less

Apply for an emergency proxy vote

Polling stations

Our polling stations will be safe places for you to vote in-person on polling day.

Please go to the polling station outlined on your polling card for the election.

If there are any changes to polling stations, they will be detailed on the election page in advance and this will be outlined on your polling card too.

Health and safety measures in place at polling stations

To ensure that the voting process remains safe, we will have the appropriate health and safety measures in place at your polling station so please follow these and speak to a staff member at your polling station should you have any concerns or questions.

Voting as a young person

Voting and politics can sometimes feel confusing.

There can be a lot of unclear and old-fashioned words and explanations - and it's easy to feel a bit overwhelmed. 

Our voting as a young person page aims to help you to feel more confident and knowledgeable about elections in Renfrewshire.

It should hopefully tell you everything you need to know to ensure you can have your say in your local elections.

Voting as a New Scot

Refugees and other foreign citizens living in Scotland who have leave to enter or remain in the UK, or do not need such permission, can now vote in Scottish Parliament and council elections.

Read these FAQs here in 2022 Council elections - English [230KB] .

You can also request them in Arabic, Farsi, French, Kurdish-Sorani, Polish, Romanian or Urdu.

You can also watch this video on Registering to vote (English with Arabic subtitles).

Voting support for people with disabilities

For anyone with a disability who wants to vote in person at the polling station, there will be additional support available. This includes:

  • A tactile voting device. This is a template designed for people with sight loss, which is fixed onto the ballot paper so that you can mark it yourself. Polling station staff will read out the name of the candidates on the ballot paper for you
  • A large print sample version of the ballot paper. This is clearly displayed in the polling station and a copy will also be available for you to take into the polling booth to help you to mark your paper
  • You can ask the member of staff who is in charge of the polling station to help you mark your ballot paper; or bring someone with you who is over 18, and eligible to vote in that election, to help you cast your vote. Blind and partially sighted voters are also able to take their phones into the polling booth to help them to vote. For instance, to use magnifier or text-to-speech apps, or the phone torch to improve lighting
  • Each polling station will have a ramp or a separate entrance, so that everyone can access it. If you do experience any problems getting into your polling station, a member of staff can come to assist you and can bring your ballot paper to you so you can cast your vote, if helpful
  • A wheelchair accessible polling booth will be available in every polling station

If you have any concerns or questions, email the Election Office or call 0141 618 2300.