Applying to vote by post or proxy

Applying to vote by proxy

If you are registered to vote and if you can't get to the polling station yourself, you can nominate someone to vote on your behalf. 

This person - your proxy - must be officially appointed by you.

How to appoint your proxy

If you're registered to vote, then you can apply for a proxy vote. 

There are different application requirements depending on the reason on the application. You must give a reason for requesting to nominate a proxy in every case.

You can apply for a proxy vote if:

  • you're unable to get to the polling station for one particular election (eg if you are away on holiday)
  • you have a physical condition that means that you can't get to the polling station on polling day
  • your employment means that you can't get to the polling station on polling day
  • your attendance at an educational course means that you can't get to the polling station on polling day
  • you're a British citizen living overseas
  • you're a Crown servant, or a member of Her Majesty’s armed forces
  • you're unable to get to the polling station on polling day as you have fallen ill, or have become incapacitated in the period immediately before an election

The deadline for applying for a proxy vote is usually six working days before election day. In an emergency they may be granted in specific circumstances up to 5pm on polling day.

You can download the specific proxy voting applications forms here.

Please email us at electoral services for guidance if you think this applies to you.

Anyone can be your proxy provided that:

  • they're eligible to vote in that type of election
  • their details have been confirmed against Department for Work and Pensions records and they have been successfully registered themselves
  • their registration to be your proxy has been processed, and
  • they're willing to vote on your behalf

However, a person can only vote as a proxy at the same election for:

  • anyone to whom they are related as spouse, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, child or grandchild; and / or
  • no more than two people to whom they are unrelated

The length of your proxy vote depends on the reason on which you made your application.

Your proxy can apply to cast their proxy vote by post. Your application for a proxy vote asks if this might be the case. If you tell us, we'll send your proxy the necessary form to complete.

To cancel or amend a proxy vote application, you have to inform us in writing by no later than 5pm on the sixth working day before the election.

The easiest way to do this is by emailing electoral services giving your full name and address, and the date from which you wish to cancel your proxy vote.

Page last updated: 11 February 2019