You need to be registered to vote before you can apply for a postal or proxy vote.

You can find out about voting in person, by post and by proxy on GOV.UK. 

Apply for a postal vote

You must apply no later than 5pm, 11 working days before the first election you want a postal vote for.

If we do not receive your application in time, you will still be able to vote at the polling station on the election day. 

If you prefer, you can request a paper application form to apply for a postal vote.

You can’t vote at a polling station if you have successfully registered for a postal vote. 

Casting your postal vote

We will send your postal vote pack to the requested address. We start sending them out three weeks before the election day. If you have applied for a postal vote close to the deadline, we will send out your pack in a later mailing.

You can find instructions about how to cast your postal vote in your pack.

You can also find out about casting your postal vote on GOV.UK.

If you make a mistake when completing your postal vote, you can correct the error and return the completed forms to us.

However, if you can’t clearly resolve the error, you need to contact Electoral Services, so we can reissue your postal vote. We can’t reissue your vote until four working days before the election.

Returning your postal vote

You should return your postal vote as soon as you can in the envelopes we provide.

You can return it:

We cannot accept postal votes delivered to the purple mailbox outside the council offices.

If you are returning you postal vote by hand on the day of the election, you can hand it in before 10pm at:

  • your own polling station
  • another polling station in your ward (for city council elections)
  • another polling station in your parish (for parish council elections)

If you are handing in a postal vote in person, you must complete a postal vote handling form. If you do not complete this, we can't count the postal vote.

You are only allowed to hand in up to five postal votes, in addition to your own.

Apply for a proxy vote

You must apply by 5pm, at least six working days before polling day.

If we do not receive your application in time, you will still be able to vote at the polling station on the election day.

The proxy vote will only apply for one election.

If you prefer, you can request a paper application form to apply for a proxy vote.

Casting your proxy vote

Once your proxy vote has been approved, you and your proxy will receive a confirmation letter.

If you are a proxy and voting on behalf of someone else, you will also receive instructions about how and where to vote. You will have to vote at the polling station of the person you are a proxy for.

You can only be a proxy for close relatives and up to two other people.

If you want to cast your proxy vote by post, you need to contact us.

Permanent proxy vote

You can only apply for a permanent proxy vote if you meet the requirements set by the Electoral Commission.

You can:

To cancel your absent vote, you must download, print and fill in the cancellation form.

Once you have completed the form and made sure you have signed it, you need to return it to us.

You can scan or photograph the form and upload your cancellation request online, or return the form to us at the Civic Centre.

We must receive your cancellation form at least 11 working days before the election, so that you can cast your vote at your polling station.

If we do not receive your completed cancellation request form in time, you will still have your absent vote in place. This means you will be unable to vote at the polling station on the election day.

You can ask us to send you a replacement postal ballot paper if you have:

  • lost your postal vote
  • made a mistake on your ballot paper

To request a re-issue of your postal vote, you must fill in a re-issue request form.

We must receive your request no later than 5pm on the day of the election.

If we do not receive your completed postal vote re-issue request form in time, we will be unable to re-issue your postal vote.

By law, we cannot begin to process requests for a re-issue of your postal vote until one week before polling day. However, you can still submit your request before this date.

If you are unable to complete the re-issue request form, we are able to accept a written note to the same effect. 

If you can't vote in person on election day, you may be able to apply for an emergency proxy vote (until 5pm on polling day).

You may be eligible for an emergency proxy votes if:

You will only be able to apply if the situation occurred after the deadline for applying for an ordinary proxy vote.

In some circumstances, the application needs to be attested by a relevant representative (such as a registered nurse, social worker or employer). If the application is not appropriately attested, we cannot legally process the application.

As long as it is before the deadline, you can return your form:

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