How to vote by post, proxy or in person

At a polling station

Voting at a polling station

We will send you your poll card 3 to 4 weeks before an election.

Each member of your household who is registered and can vote in that particular election, should also receive a poll card which states:

Contact us if haven't received a poll card before an election, but think you're registered to vote.

You don’t need to take the poll card with you to be able to vote.

Casting your vote

The hours of poll for all elections is 7am to 10pm.

When you get to the polling station

On arrival at your designated polling station, the poll clerk will ask you to confirm your name and address and will give you a ballot paper or more than one if there are 2 or more elections taking place at the same time.

Filling in your ballot paper

Take the ballot papers to the voting booth and be sure to read the guidance for voters regarding how to mark them.

Once you have finished marking your ballot papers, put them in the ballot box.

Postal votes

Apply to vote by post

If you’re registered to vote, you can choose to vote by post.

Apply for a postal vote

Return the postal application form by email to electoral.services@brent.gov.uk or by post to Brent Civic Centre.

What you need to know

Read the information below to find out about:

How to apply for a postal vote

You can apply for a postal vote:

  • for a single election on a specific date
  • for a specific period
  • permanently.

You can apply for a postal vote at any time but your completed form must be received at the latest 5pm, 11 working days before an election for it to be valid at that election.

This is also the deadline to cancel or make changes to an existing postal vote including changing your postal vote to a proxy vote.

Returning your ballot to us

We can send ballot papers to addresses both in the UK and overseas. However they can’t be sent out any earlier than 10 days before an election, leaving a short period for you to receive and return your ballot paper.

If you're overseas, it may be better to appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf.

For security reasons, all applications for a postal vote must include your signature and date of birth. If you don't provide these details, your application will not be accepted.

You will be asked to provide your signature and date of birth again on your ballot paper. This is so we can check it’s you that’s voted and no one else.

We may grant a waiver from providing a signature if you’re unable to:

  • sign in a consistent or distinctive way because of any disability
  • read or write.

However, you will still be required to give your date of birth.

Replacing lost or spoiled ballot papers

Contact us if you spoil or lose your ballot paper. You can get a replacement up to 5pm on the day of an election. You must collect it in person.

If you spoiled your ballot paper, bring the:

  • spoiled paper
  • rest of the ballot pack that was sent to you.

Cancelling your postal vote

If you want to cancel your postal vote we need a signed request in writing to authorise us to do this. This can be sent to us by post, or as a scanned email attachment in PDF or JPG format.

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Proxy votes

Apply to vote by proxy

If you’re unable to vote in person you can ask someone to vote on your behalf. This is called a proxy vote. 

Apply to vote by proxy

Return the proxy application form by email to electoral.services@brent.gov.uk or by post to Brent Civic Centre.

What you need to know

Read the information below to find out about:

How to apply for a proxy vote

There are different forms depending on the reason that you need a proxy vote. When you apply, make sure you pick the correct form for your reason or your application will be rejected.

You can apply for a proxy vote if you:

  • are on holiday/working abroad when the election takes place
  • have a physical condition that means you can’t go to the polling station on election day
  • are working during all hours of voting
  • are studying away from home
  • have moved house since you registered and are unable to go to your old polling station
  • are a British citizen living overseas
  • are a crown servant or a member of Her Majesty's Armed Forces.

The deadline for applying to vote by proxy is 6 working days before an election however you can apply at any time.

If you're a postal voter and you wish to appoint a proxy, you will need to cancel your postal vote by 5pm, 11 working days before an election. You can normally only arrange a proxy for specific election although exceptions can be made for occupational and health reasons.

Who can act as your proxy

Anyone can be your proxy as long as they’re:

You’re chosen person can’t be a proxy for more than 2 people at the same election, unless the extra people are close relatives.

Your proxy will be sent a poll card and on election day they will need to attend the polling station on your behalf unless they have chosen to vote for you by post.

If you want to change who acts as your proxy, just make a new proxy application.

Emergency proxy

If you become aware of a medical or employment emergency after the deadline for applying for a proxy vote which means you cannot go to the polling station in person, you can apply to vote by emergency proxy up to 5pm on polling day.

Contact us for more information about voting by emergency proxy.

Postal proxy vote

If your proxy cannot attend your polling station in person for any reason on the day of the election, they can apply to vote by post.

To apply for a postal proxy, both the proxy and the elector will need to complete a form. Please note that if your proxy has been allocated a postal proxy you will not be able to vote at the polling station, even if your proxy has not yet voted.

Contact us to request a copy of the appropriate application form.

Cancelling your proxy vote

If you want to cancel your proxy vote we need a signed request in writing to authorise us to do this. This can be sent to us by post, or as a scanned email attachment in PDF or JPG format.

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