Voting by post:
If you would rather not vote in person at your designated polling station, you may prefer to vote by post or by proxy.
From Tuesday 31 October 2023 electors (except for anonymous electors) will be able to apply for a postal vote online via www.gov.uk/apply-postal-vote.
All absent vote applications (except for emergency proxy applications) made on or after Tuesday 31 October 2023 must contain a national Insurance Number (NINo) or a reason why one cannot be provided.
Your information (name, address, date of birth and NINo) will initially be verified against Department of Works and Pension (DWP) data. When an application does not match DWP data - you will be asked to provide documentary evidence to verify your identity. If this is not possible you will be asked to obtain an attestation.
Postal votes will be put in place for up to three years and there will be transition arrangements in place for existing postal voters.
Different rules will apply to overseas electors.
From Tuesday 31 October 2023 applications will be made for a particular election, a particular period or for a maximum period of three years. They must be made by completing an online application form (via the website above) or if that is not possible then the elections office can send out a new style form which will ask for your NINo as well as your date of birth, where you would like the ballot paper sent to and your signature.
Paper applications are still subject to verification via the DWP database.
You can apply for a postal vote up until 11 working days before an election. We do not recommend that you leave it that late though, as it will not give much time for you to receive your ballot pack, complete it and return it to us before the polls close.
A postal vote application form can be scanned and emailed to us at firstname.lastname@example.org providing the application form is added as a pdf attachment and is not embedded within the email, however if the image is poor then we may reject it and ask you to put the application in the post to us instead.
You cannot sign an absent vote application form on behalf of an elector even if you have Power of Attorney. You cannot assign your voting rights unless you formally appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf.
A postal vote can be sent to your home address or any other address specified by you, but a reason must be given. If you have recently moved then this is not a reason for diverting your postal vote, this means you should re-register to vote at your new address.
Postal votes can be sent overseas, but you need to consider whether there will be time for you to receive and return your ballot paper by polling day. If you live overseas permanently you will need to register as an overseas elector before setting up any postal or proxy voting arrangements.
Postal votes are usually dispatched between 14 and 5 days before polling day. If you are going to be out of the country during the run up to an election and would like a postal vote, please check with the elections helpline to discuss the practicalities of having a postal vote as it may not be possible to receive and return the paperwork in time for your vote to be counted.
If you have been sent a postal vote, you cannot vote in person at a polling station.
Postal votes can be posted back to the council offices or returned by hand to the council offices or polling station before the close of poll. If you have not received the postal vote or have mislaid it, please contact the elections helpline, bearing in mind that a new one cannot be issued after 5pm on polling day.
Postal votes have to be received at the council or polling station by the close of poll on polling day (10pm).
To download an application to vote by post form please visit the site https://www.gov.uk/voting-in-the-uk.