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Vote by post or proxy

Vote by post or proxy

Who can vote by post or proxy

Anybody can apply to vote by post as long as their details have been entered onto the electoral register. You don't need to give any reason for voting this way and can apply to vote by post for all future elections, a fixed period, or for one election if you were unable to vote in person on that day. For security reasons all postal and proxy vote applications must include a signature and date of birth. Be careful when signing within the signature box and avoid going into the shaded grey border as the scanner cannot then read it.

Refresh of personal identifiers

The Representation of the People Regulations 2001 requires all postal voters to provide a fresh specimen signature every 5 years. If you receive a letter from us requesting you to do this you will either need to sign within the black box or, if you no longer wish to vote by post, select the option to cancel your postal vote. Then send the form back to us in the pre-paid envelope.

If we do not receive a reply from you we are required to send out a reminder letter and form. If no response is received we will cancel your postal vote and you will then need to go to your polling station to cast your vote. However, you can re-apply to vote by post at any time up to 11 working days before an election.

What to do if you can't provide a signature

If you are unable to provide a signature due to any disability, you can request a waiver for the signature requirement. The request must include the reason(s) for the request along with the name and address of any person who has assisted with the completion of the application. Contact us to request a personalised waiver application form. Contact us using details at bottom of the page.

Postal voting deadlines

Your application for a new postal vote, along with any changes to an existing postal vote, must be received by us no later than 5pm, 11 working days before election day. 

Once an election is called every eligible elector on the register who is an absent voter is sent a poll card reminding them that they have chosen to vote in this way. We usually send postal ballot papers by first class post, about two weeks before polling day to everyone who has applied to vote by post, however the later you apply the later your postal vote will be despatched. If however you were going to be away on holiday and were thinking about a postal vote, please contact Electoral Services prior to applying to find out the approximate posting dates of the ballot papers, as we have to follow strict dates for posting, and cannot always guarantee to deliver these to you if you are on holiday a few days prior to the election.

There will be full instructions on how to vote included with the ballot paper.  You must get postal ballot papers to us by 10pm on polling day. If you are too late for the post, you can take it to our offices or to polling station shown on your polling card and hand it to the staff.

Lost or spoilt ballot papers

If the ballot paper is spoilt don't throw any part of the ballot paper pack away. Return it to us for replacement. Replacements can be issued up to 5pm on Polling Day. 

Proxy voting deadlines

Your request for a new proxy vote application form must be received by us no later than 5pm, 6 working days before the election poll. However, if you have a postal vote and wish to change to vote by proxy,  the deadline to submit your proxy application is 5pm, 11 working days before the poll.

The deadline for Emergency Proxy applications is 5pm on the day of the poll. These are only permitted for those people who found out that they were going to be unable to go to the polling station either due to work or a medical emergency after the deadline for appointing a proxy has passed. Your application to appoint an emergency proxy will need to be supported and signed by your manager, the appropriate medical practitioner or a health professional.

If you have applied for a proxy vote, we will send your proxy a poll card about one week before polling day.  This will confirm they have been appointed to act as your proxy and allow them to go to the polling station you would have gone to and cast your vote on your behalf.

If the person you wish to appoint to act as your proxy is not local or is an existing postal voter themselves and would therefore want to have a postal vote on your behalf they will need to make an application to vote by post as a proxy.

Postal and proxy vote applications

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