Voting by post or by proxy

Postal voting

This is where we send you your ballot paper(s) around 10 days before the election. You simply mark your ballot papers, sign a statement, and post these back to us in a pre-paid envelope we provide. We need to receive your ballot paper(s) and statement by 10pm on election day.

Watch a video guide on how to vote by post (external link).

You can apply to vote by post at any time - you do not need to wait for an election to be called. The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm on the 11th working day before an election. Please see the Upcoming elections page for details of the next scheduled elections.

To vote by post you must:

Apply for a postal vote

To apply to vote by post please download and print a form from the Electoral Commission’s website (external link) and then either email a scanned image to us at or post it to the address below.

You can apply to vote by post for one election, a set period of time or permanently. We will contact you every 5 years to refresh your signature if you have a permanent postal vote.

If you cannot provide a consistent signature due to a disability or inability to read or write, it is possible to grant an exemption (known as a signature waiver). Please contact Electoral Services for further information or to obtain a waiver request form.

Once a postal vote has been set up you will not be able to vote in person at a polling station, unless you cancel your postal vote (in writing) by 5pm 11 working days before an election or referendum. Postal voting packs may only be sent 10 working days before an election.

For security and to ensure that only you can use your vote, we need to have both your signature and your date of birth on file. When you vote, these will be matched against the information you provide on your form. If the signature and/or the date of birth provided cannot be matched to those supplied on your application, your ballot paper may be rejected.

If you email a scanned image or a photograph of an application form please ensure the image is of good quality and that your signature is clear.

If you do not have access to a printer or would like us to post you an application form, please complete our e-form:

Request a postal vote application form


Cancelling your postal vote

If you no longer want to vote by post, you need to write to us making sure you sign the letter so we can check it against our records.

We cannot cancel postal votes any later than 5pm on the 11th working day before an election.

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Proxy voting

A Proxy vote is where you appoint somebody to vote for you. They can go along to your polling station and cast your vote.

There are different application forms (external link), depending on why you can’t get to the polling station. Make sure you complete the right one.

  • Usually, you need to apply at least 6 working days before election day

You can have a proxy vote if you cannot get to the polling station on polling day.

This means that you can appoint someone else to vote on your behalf. Your proxy can either vote by post or vote at a polling station, but the polling station they will vote at can only be the polling station you would have had to vote at yourself.

Your chosen proxy must also be eligible to vote in the election they are voting on your behalf in. They can be a proxy for 2 people at the same election, or more if the extra people are close relatives.

The Proxy will require photo ID when voting in person - see the Voter ID page for more information.

The deadline for applications to vote by proxy is by 5pm, 6 working days before polling day. Please see the Upcoming elections page for the deadline for the next election.

You may need to vote by proxy because:

  • you are unable to go to the polling station for one particular election, eg if you are away on holiday
  • you have a physical condition that means you cannot go to the polling station on election day
  • your job means you cannot go to the polling station on election day
  • your attendance on an education course means you cannot go to the polling station on election day
  • you are a British citizen living overseas (Parliamentary only)
  • you are a Crown Servant or a member of the Armed Forces

Please ensure that you complete the correct form when applying to vote by proxy. Some reasons for appointing a proxy may need your application to be supported so it is important that you ensure that it is completed correctly.

Please download a proxy vote application from the Electoral Commission website (external link), complete the necessary information and either email the form to us as an attachment to or post it to the address below.

Vote by proxy due to a medical or work emergency

In certain circumstances on election day, where you have an emergency that means you can't go to the polling station in person, you can apply for an emergency proxy up to 5pm on the day of the election.

For further details and to download an emergency proxy vote form please see the Electoral Commission’s website (external link) then call the Elections team on 020 8489 1000.

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Being appointed as a proxy

If you have been appointed as someone’s proxy, this means you can cast their vote on their behalf.

You can be a proxy for close relatives (defined as your spouse, civil partner, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, child or grandchild) and up to 2 other people.

You can only act as proxy if you are 18 or over and you are (or will be) registered to vote for that election or referendum.

The person who appointed you will tell you how they want you to vote on their behalf, for example, which candidate, party, or outcome.

How to vote as someone’s proxy

You must go to the polling station of the person who appointed you as their proxy. If you can’t go to their polling station, you can apply to vote for them by post up to 5pm, 11 working days before the election.

You will receive a proxy poll card telling you where and when to cast their vote for them.

If you don’t receive a proxy poll card, you can check where to go to vote by contacting electoral services on 020 8489 1000 or by email at

The person who appointed you as their proxy may still vote in person, provided they do so before you have voted for them and only if you have not applied to vote for them by post.

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Postal proxy voting

If your appointed proxy is going to be away from home on the day of the election, they can apply for your proxy ballot paper to be posted to them.

More information about all forms of voting is available on the GOV.UK website (external link).

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Election enquiries

For further help or information, please contact us on:

Alternatively, you can write to the Electoral Registration team at:

  • The Electoral Registration Office, George Meehan House, Wood Green N22 8YX

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Page last updated:

May 26, 2023