Information for Voters

Election Thursday 2 May 2024

The election of Mayor for the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) will take place on Thursday 2 May 2024. The Mayor will be directly elected by voters from the seven local authorities that make up the combined authority area.

The Police and Crime Commissioner Elections are also due to take place across the West Midlands area.

In Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton there are scheduled local elections which means you will have three ballot papers in these areas. In Birmingham, where there are no scheduled local elections are being held however, there will be a by-election in the Bournbrook and Selly Park Ward.

Who can vote in this election?

To vote on 2 May, you need to make sure you’re registered by 16 April 2024. In order to register to vote:

  • You must be 18 or over on the day of the election (‘polling day’)
  • You must be a British, Commonwealth or EU citizen
  • You have to be resident at an address in one of the seven constituent members of the WMCA – Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton
  • You are not legally excluded from voting (you can check)

If you are not already on the electoral roll, you must register to vote.

If you happen to live in two local authority areas, as a student or otherwise, you can be registered in both areas but you can only vote in this election once, otherwise you might be guilty of a criminal offence. Find out more.

If you’ve moved address recently and have not already registered at your new address then you can register to vote. Please put your previous address in your application to ensure your details are removed from that address.

If you wish to confirm that you are registered to vote, you can contact your local Electoral Services Office.

How to register to vote

To vote for the West Midlands Mayor you must live in the West Midlands and be registered to vote by 16 April 2024. If you are over 18 and not registered to vote you can register to vote online. If you are already registered to vote at your address, you do not need to re-register specifically for this election. If you are unsure whether you need to register, you should contact your local Electoral Services Team.

How do I vote?

Once registered to vote, you should receive a polling card through the post at your home address. You are then able to cast your vote in person, by post, or by proxy on 2 May.

Every registered voter will receive two poll cards this year due to the late confirmation of the Police and Crime Commissioner elections taking place. This meant the Returning Officer was not able to combine the poll card for all the elections taking place but has a legal duty to send a poll card advising electors of the elections which are happening on 2 May, which is the reason for the second poll card.

If you cannot make it in person to the polling station you can vote by post, or have someone do so in person on your behalf, by ‘proxy vote’. You will, however, need to apply to vote by either method in advance. Speak to your local authority to do so.

At the polling station

All polling stations across the West Midlands are open on polling day from 7am until 10pm.

If you are registered and entitled to vote then you will receive a poll card before the election telling you where to vote.

When going to the polling station it helps to take your polling card with you. However if you forget your polling card you will still be able to vote. You do not need to take your poll card with you.

Staff at your polling station on polling day will ask you to confirm your name and address so they can check you are registered to vote. They will then ask to see your accepted Voter ID once this has been checked and your identity confirm they will hand you your ballot paper.

Voters with a physical or visual impairment who are unable to mark their own paper can be assisted by one of the presiding officers or a companion.

I have lost my poll card. Can you send me another one?

You do not need a poll card to vote, so another one will not be sent.  The poll card is just to inform you that there is an election and to provide you with other information such as where your polling station is situated.

Find your polling station

You can find the location of your polling station by putting in your postcode on this site Democracy Club postcode checker

When you arrive at the polling station, staff will ask you to confirm your name and address. They will then check that you are registered and hand you a ballot paper. They can also help you understand how to fill in your ballot paper.

If you would like to find out your polling station, you can contact your local Electoral Services Office.

Voter ID

Remember! Anybody voting in a polling station at elections is required to show an accepted form of photographic ID.

Find out what forms of photo ID will be accepted, on the Electoral Commission website.

Anyone who does not have one of these accepted forms of ID can apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate on the Government website.

Voting by Post

Anyone who is registered and eligible to vote can apply for a postal vote at this election. Many people choose to vote by post if they are away from home on polling day, or if they have difficulty in getting to their local polling station.

The deadline to apply for a postal vote at this election is 5pm on Wednesday 17 April. You can apply to vote by post online Alternatively you can obtain an application form from your local Electoral Services Office

If you apply to vote by post then your ballot papers will be sent through the post to you, along with a postal voter’s statement (which requires your signature and date of birth), instructions on how to complete and return your postal vote, and a freepost envelope in which to return it.

Postal votes will be sent around the 16 April, but if you apply for a postal vote after 21 March, you should contact your local authority to check when your postal vote will be issued. Due to the specialist nature of postal vote production, it can take a couple of weeks from the receipt of an application form for the postal vote to be issued.

If you leave it too late to post your postal vote back to us, you can return it by hand either to your local Electoral Services Office or any polling station in your local authority area, however if you do this you will be required to complete a form when handing the postal vote in, if you do not do this then your vote will not be counted.

Voting by Proxy

Voting by proxy means appointing someone else to vote on your behalf. The deadline to appoint a proxy is 5pm on Wednesday 21 April. You can apply to vote by proxy online or alternatively you can obtain an application form from your local Electoral Services Office .

In order to vote on your behalf, your proxy must attend your polling station, even if this is in a different location from where they need to go to cast their own vote. If your appointed proxy is unable to attend your polling station then they can apply to vote by post. The deadline for them to apply for this is 5pm on Wednesday 17 April so if you appoint a proxy after this time they will need to attend your allocated polling station.

Accessibility at polling stations

We want to make sure that everyone with a disability can vote with ease and in comfort.

Bringing a friend/carer someone with you

Anyone who has a disability can bring someone with them into the polling station to help them to vote. The person helping you must be aged 18 or over and will need to fill out a form.

Wheelchair accessibility

Our polling stations will have ramps to allow wheelchair users to access them. The stations will also have larger booths to allow the wheelchair user to vote securely.

Available equipment in polling stations

We’ll have as a minimum the following equipment at our polling stations to help you cast your vote:

  • A booth with brighter lighting
  • Pencil grips
  • Tactile voting devices for people with a visual impairment
  • Large copies of the ballot paper
  • Large magnifiers
  • Chairs for people who cannot stand for long periods

There will be an audio ballot paper available on this website after 9 April 2024.

RNIB have also produced advice on voting and elections for people with visual impairments, whilst MENCAP has also produced Easy Read Guides about elections and voting.

How do I get information on the candidates?

Each candidate has the opportunity to submit an election address.   A booklet is then sent to every elector containing election addresses for the candidates, as well as other information about the Mayoral Election. This will be posted to every registered elector in the West Midlands Combined Authority area around the 16 April. You will also be able to access the booklet on this website.

For the Police and Crime Commissioner election each candidate has the opportunity to submit an election address. These will be available to view at www.choosemypcc.org.uk no later than 4pm on Monday 8 April. Alternatively you can request a copy of the booklet to be sent to you by calling 0300 1311323.

For the Local elections, it is the decision and responsibility of the candidate or their agent if they want to provide/send out further information to you.

Counting the votes

The votes for this election will be counted on Saturday 4 May 2024, with the results expected by mid afternoon.

Each local authority will be responsible for counting the votes for their area, with the results being collated regionally in Birmingham by the Combined Authority Returning Officer (CARO) and their staff.  Once results for all seven local authorities have been collected and calculated, the successful candidate will be declared.