Postal and Proxy voting
Anybody can apply to vote by post as long as their details have been entered onto the Electoral Register. You do not need to give any reason for voting this way and can apply to vote by post for all future elections, a fixed period, or for one election if you were unable to vote in person on that day.
If however you were going to be away on holiday and were thinking about a postal vote, please contact Electoral Services prior to applying to find out the approximate posting dates of the ballot papers, as we have to follow strict dates for posting, and cannot always guarantee to deliver these to you if you are on holiday a few days prior to the election.
As part of the Electoral Administrators Bill passed in 2006 anybody requiring a postal vote has to provide their date of birth and a specimen signature. This information is securely held and only used to check the details against the Voting Statement returned with your ballot paper. This is to prevent fraudulent postal votes being returned, your vote remains secret.
Once you have received your postal vote; complete the ballot paper and follow the instructions provided to send it back to the Civic Offices. If however you decide you do not wish to use the postal system, you can complete the ballot paper, place it in the return envelope and deliver it to a polling station within your electoral area, or to the Civic Offices before 10pm on the date of the election.
Please note that if you choose to vote by post then you will not be able to vote in person at a polling station.
Proxy voting means allowing someone else to vote for you, and this facility is available for various reasons, for example travelling or living away from home, sickness, away on holiday, or if you are a student.
However, you may find that you are able to vote on election day, in this case you can still go to the polling station, but the person you have appointed as your proxy will not then be able to vote on your behalf.
Postal proxy voting
If the person you have appointed to act as your proxy is unable to get to the polling station or lives outside of the area, you can apply for them to become a postal proxy and they will have the ballot paper sent to them.
To apply for an application form to vote by postal proxy, if you have any queries regarding the above, or would like more advice, please contact Electoral Services.
Please note that the freepost address given in both the postal and proxy voting forms will be treated by Royal Mail as 2nd class post. To ensure your application form is received before the close of applications during an election period, you may wish to use a 1st class stamp instead.
Details provided on your postal or postal proxy voting form will be passed to a 3rd party for production of your postal vote pack.