POLYAS Election Glossary

We provide explanations and background information on elections, voting rights and digital democracy

Polling Station

A polling station is a physical location where people go to cast their vote during an election or referendum. Typical venues include local schools, churches and community centres.

Before polling day, local councils send out polling cards to eligible voters which include details of where polling stations are located in their particular area.

Once inside the polling station, eligible voters give their names and addresses to staff and are issued with ballot papers which contain the list of parties, candidates or options which can be voted upon.

One disadvantage of physical polling stations is that not everyone is able to attend in person. In such cases, online voting can be helpful in order to include those people who would otherwise be unable to vote, thereby increasing voter turnout in an election or referendum. 

See also: Referendum, Ballot Paper, Online Voting, Polling Card

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