How to vote by post, proxy or in person
If you’re unable to vote in person you can ask someone to vote on your behalf. This is called a proxy vote.
What you need to know
Read the information below to find out about:
- how to apply for a proxy vote
- who can be your proxy
- an emergency proxy
- postal proxy vote
- cancelling your 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.
Anyone can be your proxy as long as they’re:
- registered to vote
- allowed to vote in the same type of election.
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.
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.
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.
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.