How to vote in the 2021 election

The next Kent County Council (KCC) election will be held on Thursday 6 May 2021. It will be a combined poll with the Police and Crime Commissioner election. Depending on where you live, there may also be other types of local elections taking place too.

KCC is led by 81 democratically elected councillors, also known as members. Councillors represent people within their electoral division and develop council policy.

As a county council, we are responsible for:

  • providing care services to adults and children
  • strategic leadership on education
  • roads, pavements and public rights of way
  • waste disposal including household waste recycling centres
  • libraries
  • public health
  • consumer protection
  • emergency planning.

The 12 borough, city and district councils in Kent administer and conduct the KCC election in their area on our behalf.

Who can I vote for?

We are responsible for publishing the statutory election notices. Details of the candidates in each electoral division (name and political party) will be published in the Statements of Persons Nominated on Friday 9 April.

We are not allowed to publish candidates’ manifestos on our website; it is the role of the candidates to promote themselves as part of their campaign.

Councillors are elected using the First Past the Post system. In most areas, you vote for 1 candidate and the candidate with the most votes is elected. However in 9 areas (Birchington and Rural, Deal and Walmer, Dover Town, Gravesend East, Maidstone Central, Northfleet and Gravesend West, Ramsgate, Sheppey and Tonbridge), you can vote for 2 candidates and the 2 candidates with the most votes are elected.

How to vote

To vote in the Kent County Council 2021 election you must:

  • be registered to vote at an address in Kent. The deadline for registering is midnight on Monday 19 April.
  • be 18 or over on the day of the election (‘polling day’)
  • be a British, Commonwealth or EU citizen.

If you are unable to register to vote online, please contact your local elections office. They will also be able to tell you if you are already on the electoral register or have previously registered for a postal or proxy vote.

There are three ways to cast your vote:

This means going to the polling station to vote on polling day. Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm on Thursday 6 May.

You will be sent a poll card telling you:

  • the name of the division that you are voting in
  • where your polling station is.

You don't need to have your poll card with you in order to vote.

To keep everyone safe, when you attend a polling station:

  • wear a face covering (unless you're exempt)
  • bring your own pen or pencil to mark your ballot paper
  • follow signs and guidance from staff to adhere to social distancing.

This means that you will be sent a postal voting pack so you can complete your ballot paper at home and return it by post.

To vote by post you need to:

Please apply as early as possible to ensure your application is received before the deadline of 5pm on Tuesday 20 April. If you have any questions about postal voting, contact your local elections office.

This is when you are unable to go to the polling station yourself and you ask a trusted person to vote on your behalf.

To vote by proxy you need to:

Please apply as early as possible to ensure your application is received before the deadline of 5pm on Tuesday 27 April.

Emergency proxy

In certain circumstances where you have an emergency that means you cannot go to vote in person (including if you are affected by COVID-19), you can apply for an emergency proxy up until 5pm on Thursday 6 May by contacting your local elections office.