Voting by post

How to apply

Voting by post is an easy and convenient way of voting if you are unable to get to the polling station. This section tells you how voting by post works.

You need to sign your application form personally because we need a copy of your signature for voting security reasons.

  • The law now allows anyone included in a Register of Electors to apply for a postal vote without the need to give any reason or to have the application form countersigned. 
  • If you would prefer to vote by post instead of going to a polling station you can use the form on this page. 
  • Postal votes can be sent anywhere, either inside or outside the United Kingdom (if, for example, you are going on holiday). Remember, though, that if the address is outside the UK it will take time to reach you and for you to return it in order for your vote to be counted. 
  • If you move house you must tell the Electoral Registration Officer immediately, or you may lose your postal vote. 
  • Please remember that there is always a last day to receive postal vote applications in time for a particular election. 
  • You are strongly advised to complete and send in your application early.

Who can apply for a postal vote?

Anyone aged 18 or over who is on the electoral register can apply for a postal vote. You do not need a reason to vote by post.

Where can I get my postal vote sent?

A postal vote can be sent to your home address or any other address that you give. Postal votes can be sent overseas. You need to consider whether there will be enough time to receive and return your ballot paper by election day.

When will I receive my ballot papers?

Postal votes are usually sent out about a week before election day. Once you’ve got it, mark your vote on the ballot paper and make sure you send it back so that it arrives by close of poll (which is 10pm on election day). If it arrives later than this your vote won’t be counted.

When you get your postal voting papers

  • Put them somewhere safe 
  • Don't let anyone else handle them 
  • Make sure they are not left where someone else can pick them up

When you want to vote

  • Complete your ballot paper in secret, on your own 
  • Don't let anyone else vote for you 
  • Don't let anyone else see your vote 
  • Don't give the ballot paper to anyone else 
  • Put the ballot paper in the envelope and seal it up yourself 
  • Complete and sign the postal voting statement 
  • Put the postal voting statement and the envelope containing your ballot paper into the larger envelope and seal it.

When you return your postal vote

  • Take it to the post box yourself, or hand it in at City Hall, or your local polling station on Election Day, if you can. 
  • If you can't do that, give it to somebody you know personally and trust to post it for you. 
  • Don't hand it over to anyone - protect your vote. 
  • Don't leave it where someone else can pick it up.

Remember that this is your vote - so keep it to yourself

If anyone tries to help you against your will or force you to give them your postal vote, you should contact the police.

Want more information?

If you have any other queries please contact us.

For more information about voting by post see the About my vote Frequently Asked Questions.

Underline image