Most people vote in person at a polling station. However, if you are not able to go to the polling station in person on polling day you can apply to vote by post or by proxy (where someone votes on your behalf):
The deadline to register to vote by post in an election is 5pm, 11 working days before the poll.
You can request a postal vote for either:
- one election
- a set period of time
If you choose a permanent postal vote, you are legally required to refresh your signature every five years to make sure we have a copy of your current signature.
We will contact you when it is time to do so.
How to apply
You must first be registered to vote at the correct address before you can apply for a postal vote. If you need to register click here.
If you have moved house or changed your name, you need to register to vote again and reapply for a postal vote.
You can apply for a postal vote by completing the application form and returning it to:
To download a postal vote application form from the Electoral Commission website, click here.
Cancelling your postal vote
If you decide that you want to vote in person at an election you can cancel your postal vote up until 5pm, 11 working days before the poll. After this time you will not be able to cancel your postal vote and you will not be able to cast your vote in a polling station.
However, you can hand your postal ballot pack in at the polling station for your address if this is more convenient than returning it by post.
You can cancel your postal vote by emailing email@example.com or by calling 01772 625 625
If you apply for a postal vote before polling cards are delivered, you will get a polling card, advising you to when expect your postal ballot pack.
If you apply after polling cards are delivered, you will not receive a polling card prior to your receiving postal ballot pack.
If you would like to nominate someone you trust to go to the polling station and vote on your behalf, you can apply for a proxy vote.
The deadline for applying for a proxy vote is 5pm, 6 working days before the poll.
Please note that the person you appoint as your proxy will be required to cast your vote in your polling station.
They will receive a card telling them where and when to cast your vote. You can still vote in person, provided you do so before the proxy has voted for you.
The person who you choose to be your proxy can be anybody, as long as they are registered to vote at that election. If either of you need to register click here.
Everyone is entitled to apply for a proxy vote for one specific polling day.
To download a proxy vote application form from the Electoral Commission website for one specific election, click here.
Postal proxy votes
The deadline for an appointed proxy to request to cast the vote by post is 5pm, 11 working days before the poll.. Appointed proxies would need to do this as a separate application. If the proxy already casts their own vote by post they would need to apply separately to cast your vote by post.
Contact us if you need more information.
Apply for all future elections
If you have specific requirements, you may be able to apply for a proxy for all future elections.
The different application forms to be able to vote by proxy at all elections can be downloaded here.
Emergency proxy applications
In certain circumstances, due to either a medical or employment emergency that happens after the deadline to apply for a proxy vote has already passed, you can apply to vote by emergency proxy.
An application for an emergency proxy can be made after 5pm, 6 working days before the poll up until 5pm on polling day.
Click here to download a form to apply for an emergency proxy due to a medical emergency
Click here to download a form to apply for an emergency proxy due to employment
What if I am unable to sign?
If you are unable to sign because of a disability or illness, or you are unable to sign in a consistent or distinctive manner, you can apply for to vote by proxy and waiver the requirement for a signature.
Contact us if you need more information.
Please click here to use our polling station finder tool.