Are dogs allowed at polling stations in Birmingham? Rules on taking pet to Local Elections 2022 vote explained

Here are some of the rules you need to know ahead of your trip to the polling station today

Polling for the 2022 Local Elections is well underway and residents from across Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull will get the chance to have a say in who represents them.

Polls opened at 7am and will be open for much of the day, giving you plenty of time to fit a trip to the polling station.

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Those of you who have a furry friend may be wondering if they can join you at the polling station.

Here’s what you need to know about this, and other rules to keep in mind when heading to place your vote.

When are polls open?

Polling stations in Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull opened at 7am this morning, and will remain open for 15 hours in total.

Polls will close at 10pm.

Are dogs allowed at polling stations?

Taking your dog to a polling station is something which many owners love to do.

Twitter becomes a hive of activity on polling station day, and the #dogsatpollingstations hashtag is usually one of the top trending hashtags throughout the day.

A lot of dog owners combine a daily walk with heading out to vote, and this is something which will be (and can be) repeated today.

Dogs can come with you to polling stations, and can usually come in with you.

Dogs are welcome to enter the polling station with you, as long as they aren’t disruptive.

People with more than one dog are encouraged to ask if a polling station staff member could keep hold of your pooches’ leads whilst you vote, as it may be tricky for you to actually vote.

Can my dog vote?

Although your dog can attend the polling station with you, unfortunately, they will be unable to cast your vote for you.

Do I need my ID to vote?

In England, you will not need an ID to vote at the 2022 Local Elections. In fact, the only country in the UK where voting ID is required is in Northern Ireland.

Do I need my polling card to vote?

Residents who are eligible to vote in the 2022 Local Elections today will have received a polling card prior to the election.

The polling card will tell you the address of the polling station you must visit to cast your vote today.

Although it contains this and other information, you do not need it at the polling station in order to vote.

Traditionally, you would take your polling card to the polling station when you vote in person and hand it over to staff who will check you in and hand you your ballot.

What are the other rules at polling stations?

The Electoral Commision, the organisation that oversees electoral procedure in the UK, has rules on what people can and can’t do in a polling station.

A selection of their rules are listed below.

  • You can take your child to the polling station with you, this is in fact encouraged to teach them about democracy, but they cannot fill out your ballot sheet for you.
  • You can wear political slogans on clothing when voting, but you must leave the polling station immediately after voting
  • Taking photos in polling stations is not recommended as it could give away who someone else is voting for, and this is illegal. 

For more information on polling stations, visit the Electoral Commission website.