’Tis the season to be voting!

Are you ready to make a difference? Because you can!

By using your vote on 12 December you can save our NHS, help our schools, protect our communities and make a real difference to the people you care about.

The future of our public services is at stake – please use your vote

If you work in public services, you don’t need us to tell you that the last 10 years have been grim. That’s why this election has to be about more than Brexit. Your vote can make sure that the voices of the hard-working people delivering public services are heard.

Since 2010 we’ve seen:

  • hundreds of thousands of people across local government and other public services lose their jobs
  • years of under investment in our NHS, resulting in hospitals unable to meet all their targets on waiting times for A&E and operations
  • underfunded schools and colleges which is impacting on our children’s education
  • cuts in numbers of police staff resulting in a growth in violent crime
  • pay rises pegged back and living standards yet to regain the ground lost after the financial crisis.

As the UK’s biggest trade union, representing 1.3 million public service workers, we know that our members all share a sense of duty and dedication to the job, but feel frustration and despair about being expected to do more with less.

This can’t go on. The future of our public services is at stake.

Please use your vote and vote for a party that you trust to support public services and working people not one that will continue the austerity of the last decade.

The practicalities

On 12 December, polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm – they often get busy towards the end of the day.

If you are registered to vote you will receive a polling card which gives details of where you should go to vote. If you don’t get a polling card and you think you are registered to vote you can check by contacting the electoral services team at your local council.

Your local electoral services team can also give you the address of your polling station.

You have to vote at the polling station where you are registered.

Once you get inside the polling station you give your name to the poll clerk (showing them your poll card will speed up the process but you don’t need it) and you will be given a ballot paper.

Vote for the candidate of your choice and do not make any other mark on the ballot paper or your vote may not be counted.

If you make a mistake, don’t worry. Don’t put your ballot paper in the box but let the polling station staff know and they can give you a replacement ballot paper.

If you aren’t sure what to do, or need any help, just ask the staff in the polling station.

If you have a disability which means you can’t fill in the ballot paper yourself you can ask the presiding officer to mark your ballot paper for you. And you can ask for a large print ballot paper, or a special voting device that allows you to vote on your own in secret if you have a visual impairment.

You are not allowed to take photographs inside the polling station – but you can take pictures outside and share them on social media to encourage friends and family to vote too.

If you have a postal vote but have forgotten to post it, you can take it to your polling station on election day and hand it in.

And, as it’s that time of year, make allowances for the Christmas post and get your vote in the post in good time.

The general election: advice for activists

The general election on 12 December will be one of the most challenging we have faced in the lifetime of the union. Find out what you can do as a UNISON activist.

Read more