Your vote is a powerful thing. It lets you have your say on how the country is run. Whether you’re voting in an election, or a referendum, your vote is important. Your vote is how you make your voice heard.
Vote in an election
An election is an opportunity for you to use your vote to choose the person or party you feel most closely represents your views.
In Wales, you can vote in:
- Senedd elections, to choose who’ll represent you, your constituency and region in the Senedd.
- UK General elections, to choose who’ll represent you and your constituency in the UK Parliament.
- Local council elections, to choose who’ll represent you and your part of your county in your local council.
- Police and Crime Commissioner elections, to choose who’ll check on the work of the Chief Constables and the police force where you live.
Vote in a referendum
A referendum is an opportunity for you to use your vote to answer a question affecting everyone in the country.
Big decisions about the country, and the way things work are usually made by the people you vote for in an election.
However, sometimes it’s important to know what everyone who is registered to vote thinks about a specific question. A referendum is usually used for ‘big’ questions, where everyone who is registered to vote is asked their opinion.
Modern Wales has been shaped by the answers people like you have given in referendums:
- 1 March 1979: a referendum asked if there should be a Welsh Assembly. The majority of people used their vote to say no.
- 18 September 1997: a referendum asked if there should be a National Assembly for Wales. This time, the majority of people used their vote to say yes.
- 3 March 2011: a referendum asked if the National Assembly for Wales should have the power to make laws on a wider range of matters. The majority of people used their vote to say yes.