Voting in elections
Instead of voting at your designated Polling Station on the day of poll, you can apply to have your ballot paper sent to your home or another specified address. You can apply for a postal vote for a particular election, or a longer period.
How do I apply for a postal vote?
In order to vote by post you need to complete a postal vote application form.
Under legislation anyone who wishes to vote in this way needs to complete the application, giving a specimen of their signature and their date of birth. These ‘personal identifiers’ are securely stored. If you are unable to sign in a consistent or distinctive way because of a disability you may be granted an exemption from doing so. For further information, please contact us.
An application for a postal vote, or notification to change or cancel one, must be received in the electoral services office by 5pm on the eleventh working day before an election.
When will I receive my postal vote?
Due to the deadline for nominations and the specialist printing required, postal votes are normally dispatched, by first class post, between 7 and 10 days before polling day.
If this is not suitable, for example, because you are going away on holiday before this time, you may wish to apply for a proxy vote instead.
How do I vote by post?
When you receive your postal vote, in addition to casting your vote on the ballot paper(s), you must provide your signature and date of birth on the postal voting statement. This is then checked against the personal identifiers on your application to ensure your vote remains secure.
The completed documents need to be back to us by close of poll on polling day. They can be sent back free of charge (in the UK) in the return envelope provided, handed into the council offices or given to the Presiding Officer at a polling station on polling day in the electoral area. Postal votes received by us after close of poll cannot be included in the count.
If you have a postal vote, you will not be able to vote at your polling station on the day of the election
Lost or spoilt postal votes
If you do not receive, or have lost or spoilt your postal vote, please contact us.
We can re-issue a postal vote to the elector, either via post to the address stated on the application, or in person, subject to the elector coming in person to the Electoral Office with two forms of identification – photo ID (such as a passport or driving licence) and proof of address (such as bank statement or utility bill).
The first day we re-issue replacement postal votes is five working days before an election and this can be carried out until 5pm on polling day.