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Postal/proxy voting

If you can't get to your polling station on election day, you don't have to miss your chance to vote.

Postal voting

Postal votes are available to anyone who wants one provided they are on the electoral register.  You may set one up on a permanent basis or one temporarily for a specific election or for a set period of time (e.g. while a student is away at university).

You can apply for a postal vote at anytime you do not have to wait for an election to be held.  Completed application forms for postal votes must reach our office by no later than 5 p.m. on the eleventh working day before an election.

A postal vote can be sent to the voter's home address or to an address where he/she is resident at the time of the election. However, for security reasons, existing postal voters must give a reason if they ask for their postal votes to be re-directed.

When an election is being held you will receive a postal voting pack containing a statement form and a ballot paper.  You must complete the statement by providing your date of birth and signature.  These will be compared with the date of birth and signature provided on your application form to ensure the correct person has voted. Please use this link to watch an instructional video on You Tube demonstrating how to complete a postal vote.

Please note that once you have been sent a postal ballot paper you will not be able to vote in person.

Proxy Voting

A 'proxy' is someone who is appointed by you to vote on your behalf at an election, so to vote by proxy you must find someone who is willing to attend your polling station and cast your vote for you.

There are two types of proxy voting:

Permanent proxy voting is only available to registered electors on the grounds of health, employment or full time education commitments.  Please contact electoral services to request a copy of the appropriate application form.  This form may need to be supported by a suitably qualified person, in accordance with the notes printed on the form.

Temporary proxy voting is available to any registered elector for any reason.  Applications are made for a specific election and do not need to be supported by anyone.  Please contact electoral services to request a copy of the appropriate application form.

A proxy must be at least 18 years old and not disqualified to vote in his or her own right.  No one may act as a proxy for more than two people at the same election, unless he or she is the spouse, civil partner, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, child or grandchild of the voter.

If you appoint a proxy and then have a change of plans you may still vote in person at your polling station - providing you do so before the proxy has voted on your behalf.

To apply for a postal or proxy vote download the appropriate application form from those in the box below or contact electoral services on 01205 314220 / 314221

Related documents

Size Name
[21kb] Application to vote by post The form to complete so you can vote by post
[24kb] Application to vote by proxy particular election The form to complete so you can vote by proxy in just one particular election
[38kb] Application to Vote by Proxy Long Term The form to complete so you can vote by proxy long term

The documents in this section are in Adobe Acrobat format (pdf). You will need Acrobat Reader to view these files which can be downloaded from the Adobe website free of charge.