Your rights to vote whilst in a psychiatric hospital

Your rights to vote whilst in a psychiatric hospital or on a Mental Health Act section

Voting in the election

Your Guide to Voting if you’re locked up in psychiatric hospital

Easy Read PDF 

Easy Read Word document



Over 75% of psychiatric inpatients did not vote during the 2019 General Elections. Free Our People Now is on a mission to get psychiatric inpatients to vote in the General Election on Thursday 4th July. The good news is that the Elections Law allows most people with lived experience of being hospitalised can vote in the elections.


Can I vote whilst in hospital?

Check if you have the right to vote whilst under a Mental Health Act Hospital section.

  • Section 2 Admission for assessment Yes
  • Section 3 Admission for treatment Yes
  • Section 35 Remand to hospital for report on accused’s mental condition Yes
  • Section 36 Remand of accused person to hospital for treatment Yes
  • Section 37 Hospital Order No
  • Section 38 Interim Hospital Order No
  • Section 45A Hospital Direction No
  • Section 47 Removal to hospital of persons serving sentences of imprisonment No
  • Section 48 Removal to hospital of other prisoners Yes

If you are on a community treatment order or living in the community and want to know about your voting rights, read our Easy Read Guide to Voting (Easy Read PDF, Easy Read Word document).

Your experience of voting


We want to hear about your experience of Voting including:

  • Hustings
  • Contacting candidates
  • Getting information such as political parties manifestos.

We would like to hear your experiences, good and bad. Stories will help to improve inpatients chances to vote in the future. Please note we cannot give individual support to help you vote. We also want to hear from hospitals what they are doing to promote inpatients voting rights.

Please contact: