Supporting care home residents to vote in the upcoming Scottish Parliament election


On Thursday 6 May 2021 there will be an election to the Scottish Parliament. It is important that you support residents in your care to register to vote and to make an informed decision about which method of voting to use.

Why should I support residents to participate in elections?

The right to vote is a protected human right. Residents in care homes have the right to participate in political and public life.

Supporting residents to vote is central to providing a high quality of service which empowers individuals to participate in society and exercise choice.

The Health and Social Care Standards are underpinned by principles of dignity, respect and inclusion, which relate to our right to vote. Many of the standards for care homes relate directly to supporting residents to vote, for example, the standards around residents being treated fairly and being supported to participate fully and actively in the community.

You can, and should, support residents to register to vote, regardless of whether you are of the view they have capacity to do so.

More information on the Health and Social Care Standards can be found here.


It will be safe to vote in person at a polling station as physical distancing and hygiene measures will be in place. You can expect to see many of the measures you’ve become used to over recent months in banks, shops and other indoor spaces, such as hand sanitiser, signage and face masks.

Currently, care home residents are being advised not to leave their care homes so residents may want to make arrangements now to vote by post or proxy in the election. This can provide peace of mind that their vote is secure, regardless of any changes to government advice on local travel in the coming months.

What do I need to do?

Guidance on how you can support those in your care to register to vote, and apply for a postal or proxy vote is available here.

If you have any questions after reading the guidance you can contact your local Electoral Registration Office. You can find their details by entering the postcode for your care home on the Electoral Commission’s website.

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