Helping a person with dementia vote in a General Election

A person with dementia can not be prevented from voting in a General Election. They have the same rights as everyone else.

Helping a person with dementia vote in a General Election

However, they might need support when it comes to voting. This could include help getting to a polling station on the correct day.

The Mental Capacity Act, which provides framework for making decisions on behalf of people who lack the capacity to do so, does not apply to voting. It is up to the person to decide if they would like to vote or not.

If you have a friend or family member with dementia, it is an idea to try to talk to them about the upcoming General Election and let them know when the vote is taking place.

Voting at a polling station

Anyone wishing to vote in the General Election on December 12 must be registered to do so by 11:59pm on Tuesday, November 26. If you have a friend or family member with dementia, you may need to help them ensure they’re registered.

Polling stations will open from 7am – 10pm on December 12 and local authorities have a responsibility to make sure venues are accessible. If you need assistance, ask staff at the polling station.

People with dementia can take a relative with them to help. Ask the Presiding Officer at the polling station for permission first if you wish to be assisted or wish to assist someone.

Voting via post

It may be easier for a person with dementia to vote via post. They won’t have to go anywhere unfamiliar and can vote from the comfort of their own home. They might need help with the application process as the deadline for applications is 5pm on November 26.

A voting pack will be sent via post and the form must be filled out, signed and returned to your electoral registration office.

Voting via proxy

A person with dementia may decide to appoint someone else to vote on their behalf. The Electoral Commission requires a person with dementia to have the mental capacity to appoint and maintain a proxy. The proxy must not make the decision about who to vote for and must fulfil the person with dementia’s wishes.

The deadline to apply for proxy votes is 5pm on December 4.

With thanks to the Alzheimer’s Society for information.