Bristol Mayor Referendum 2022: how to vote in person, by post, or by proxy - and deadline to register

Scratching your head at how to vote during the Bristol Mayor Referendum 2022 today? There is no need to worry as BristolWorld has you covered.

The season of local council elections is drawing nearer, but even though Bristol are not holding one, it does not mean Bristolians will have nothing to vote on in 2022.

Local elections are pivotal in allowing residents to vote on intimate matters and issues to help shape their local communities.

Despite not being as mainstream as your typical general elections, they are a telling sign of how the general public perceive the big national parties: Labour, Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and the Green Party.

The locality of Bristol might not be voting specifically on councillors, but it is set to decide on how it wants Bristol City Council to be run - this is called the Bristol Mayor Referendum.

Here is everything you need to know about how to vote in the Bristol Mayor Referendum 2022.

When is the Bristol Mayor Referendum 2022 being held?

The Bristol Mayor Referendum is set to commence at the same time as the rest of the local elections across the country.

It will be held on Thursday, 5 May 2022, and the poll will be open from 7 am to 10 pm.

What is the Bristol Mayor Referendum?

Bristol mayor Marvin Rees at full council meeting on Tuesday, February 15.

Bristol City Council decided during a meeting in December 2021 that the local authority needed to hold a referendum concerning its governance arrangements.

Bristolians will be asked this simple question: “How would you like Bristol City Council to be run?”.

Voters will then have to decide between two different models of governance; whether to continue with the mayoral system (currently headed by Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees) or move towards a committee.

For more information about what the Bristol Mayor Referendum 2022 is, take a look at our deep dive.

How do I register to vote?

Anyone can vote in the Bristol Mayor Referendum providing they are registered and 18-years-old or older on polling day.

If you find that you are eligible to vote for the Referendum in 2022 but are yet to officially register with your local council, this could have been achieved through the government’s official website.

However, if you are still yet to register to vote in Bristol, you will not be eligible to vote in time for the Bristol Mayor Referendum 2022 as the vote for registration has since passed.

Voters had until 14 April to register.

Can I vote by post or proxy?

If for whatever reason you are unable to vote at the polling stations in person on polling day, you can do so via post.

As long as you are registered to vote, you will be able to apply for a postal vote by submitting an application online through the government website.

In order to be eligible to vote in the Bristol referendum, it must have already been submitted and received by your local Electoral Registration Office, as the deadline to apply for a postal vote has passed.

Those interested must have sent in an application before 5 pm on April 19.

You will also have the opportunity to vote by proxy.

Proxy is when you get someone else to vote on your behalf if you can not physically get to a polling station.

A proxy vote can be completed by another individual in-person or via post.

You must submit an application for a proxy vote - but ensure that both you and your proxy are registered voters in the Bristol area.

To apply for a proxy vote, you needed to visit the official Bristol City Council website and fill out an application form - however, the deadline has passed (Tuesday, 26 April at 5 pm).

However, you still have the chance to apply for an emergency proxy if required.

An emergency proxy is if you are unable to vote during the Bristol Mayor Referendum because of a work or medical emergency - for more information about applying and to find out if you might be eligible, visit the council website.

What to do when visiting a polling station on polling day

Residents across Tyneside will be heading to the polls next month

If you are voting in-person on polling day, you will need to visit a polling station on the day of the Bristol Mayor Referendum 2022.

Polling stations are always open from 7 am to 10 pm - but you can not choose which one to visit, as you are usually assigned one on your poll card.

When you arrive at the polling station, you will need to tell an official your name and address so they can check you are on the electoral register.

You can show your poll card, but these are not required to vote.

After crossing your name off the list, you will be handed a ballot paper and make your way to a private polling booth to cast your vote.

Take your time to read everything properly before marking next to the candidate that you wish to vote for.

When you have finished, fold the ballot and post it into a ballot box, which later in the day will be taken away to be counted.

And that’s it. You have officially voted during the Bristol Mayor Referendum 2022.