The standard way to vote at an election is to attend your local polling station. However, you can also apply to vote in other ways:
If you prefer to vote by post and you have already applied to do this, you will receive your postal ballot paper(s) approximately 10 working days before poll day. They will be delivered as part of a pack which will include instructions explaining how to successfully vote by post. Your ballot paper will need to be completed and returned to your local Electoral Registration Office for your vote to be counted.
If you are on the Electoral Register and unable to vote in person you can have someone else vote on your behalf. This is known as voting by proxy. Anyone can vote on your behalf as long as they are eligible to vote in the election and are willing to do so.
You can apply for a proxy vote if:
- You are unable to go to the polling station for a particular election for example, if you are away on holiday
- You have a physical condition that means you cannot go to the polling station on election day. In this case, you may have to include a declaration by a Doctor, nurse or warden of a home
- Your work takes you away from home either on a permanent basis or on the particular day of the election
- Your attendance on an educational course means that you cannot go to the polling station on election day
- You are a British Citizen living overseas
- You are a Crown Servant or a member of Her Majesty's Armed Forces
The deadline for applying to vote by proxy is normally 6 working days before an election.
Proxy voters cannot vote on behalf of more than two people at any one election, unless they are close relatives.
You can ask anyone to act as your proxy as long as they are registered to vote and it’s for a type of election they’re allowed to vote in.
If you appoint a proxy, you can still attend a polling station and personally cast your vote provided that the proxy has not already voted on your behalf.