To enable as many people as possible to take part in electing their representative to Parliament, there are three options for placing your vote: in person at a polling station, by post or by choosing someone to vote on your behalf (by proxy).
You must make sure you are registered to vote in order to vote in the general election that will take place on Thursday 7 May 2015.
Voting in person
Most people visit a polling station on the day of a general election to place their vote. Polling stations are set up in local buildings across the UK, for example school or community halls.
On election day, polling stations are open from 7am until 10pm to ensure as many people as possible can come, for example before or after work or in a lunch break.
If you are on the electoral register, you will receive a poll card. The poll card will give you the details of where and when to vote in your area.
Voting by post
An alternative way to vote is by post. Anyone aged over 18 can apply for a postal vote if you are on the electoral register and you do not need to provide a reason.
You will need to fill in a postal vote application form which is available from your local electoral registration office. Postal voting in Northern Ireland varies from the rest of the UK and it is advisable to contact the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland for further information.
Voting by proxy
If you are unable to get to a polling station you may choose to vote ‘by proxy’. A proxy vote means that you choose someone you trust to vote on your behalf.
This can be particularly helpful if you fall ill or if you are abroad on Election Day. Anyone over 18 can apply for a proxy vote if you are on the electoral register but you will need to provide a reason.
More information on how to vote can be found on the Electoral Commission website.