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

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Local elections are taking place across Liverpool City Region right now - but are you allowed to bring your furry friends with you on polling day?

Today is judgement day for many local communities across the UK.

Residents will vote for the candidates that they wish to uphold their values within their locality.

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Local elections - which are currently taking place at the time of publication - are hugely influential events that give locals a voice to influence the way that local issues are dealt with.

During these times, voters would love to bring their pet dogs with them along to the polling station as they issue their vote - but is this allowed for the Liverpool City Region local elections?

Here is everything you need to know.

When are the local elections in Liverpool City Region?

A dog at a polling station. Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty ImagesA dog at a polling station. Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images
A dog at a polling station. Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

Local elections are set to take place across Liverpool City Region, including the following councils:

  • Wirral Council
  • St Helens Borough Council
  • Knowsley Council
  • Halton Council
  • Sefton Council

Liverpool City Council will not be holding a local election in 2022.

They will commence on Thursday, 5 May across the UK.

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Are you allowed to take dogs to polling stations?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives with his dog Dilyn to vote at Methodist Central Hall, central London (Photo: Getty Images)Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives with his dog Dilyn to vote at Methodist Central Hall, central London (Photo: Getty Images)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives with his dog Dilyn to vote at Methodist Central Hall, central London (Photo: Getty Images) | Getty Images

To many, taking advantage of your right to vote can be a surreal, freeing and proud moment.

An experience that the dog lovers amongst us would love to share with our furry friends - but are they allowed to join us at Liverpool polling stations?

According to official guidance of the Electoral Commission, you will be glad to know that dogs are allowed to accompany you when you cast your ballot during the local elections.

This is as long as they are kept on a lead and follow the rules of the respective venue.

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Those that bring more than one doggie are advised that the best practice would be to let a member of staff at the polling stations hold the lead, as the commission believes that multiple dogs may make it more difficult for the owner to vote.

However, the rules of entry for our furry friends can vary depending on the polling station - so it is best to contact your designated polling station beforehand.

Is my dog allowed to vote?

Lunja -

Unfortunately dogs are not allowed to cast a vote at this year’s Liverpool local elections - and no, they are not allowed to be your proxy.

To vote, you must not only be human, but a registered voter that is 18-years-old or older on polling day.

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Do you need an ID to vote at polling stations?

New voter legislation that will require voters to bring a form of identification (ID) to vote at polling stations was passed by the Tory government earlier this year - but this has left budding voters confused as to whether it will come into effect ahead of the May local elections in 2022.

However, if for whatever reason you do not have a form of ID, or you have lost it, you can breathe a sigh of relief as it is not required to vote at these elections.

But if you are hoping to cast your ballot at any future local or general elections, it is understood that you must have a form of ID in order to do so.

What rules and guidelines must you follow at polling stations in Liverpool?

Ever wondered what the correct etiquette is for visiting polling stations, as well as the do’s and don’ts? From turning up to vote drunk, or even taking a selfie, The Electoral Commission has issued the following rules and advice when visiting a polling station today:

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  • Do not take a selfie - it risks accidentally giving away how someone else has voted, which is illegal.
  • Do not photograph your ballot paper - you can be fined up to £5,000 or face six months in prison, even if done so accidentally.
  • You can spoil your ballot paper if you want (in protest), but it will not be counted for or against a candidate.
  • You can wear political clothing, but you must leave as soon as you cast your vote - this is because campaigning inside a polling station is not permitted.
  • You can vote whilst drunk, as long as you are not disruptive.
  • Political discussion is banned inside polling stations.

What do I do when I visit a polling station on polling day?

If you are voting in-person at a polling station on polling day, here is everything you need to know.

You can not choose a polling station to visit, this is because you are usually assigned a designated polling station.

This should be seen on the poll card, which you should have received by now.

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.

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You can show your poll card at the polling station, but you do not need to bring it with you to cast your vote.

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

Take your time to read everything properly before marking next to the decision that you want to vote in favour of.

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

When are polling stations open in Liverpool?

Polling stations open and close at the same time across the country.

The opening times are as follows: 7 am to 10 pm on Thursday, 5 May.

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