Postal voting

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? 

The easiest way to apply is online.

Apply for a postal vote online

Alternatively you can complete a paper form.

Legislation means that your identity needs to be confirmed before you can be granted a postal vote. To do this you will be asked to provide your date of birth and national insurance number, which is then checked with Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) records. If you are unable to provide your national insurance number, or the details do not match you will be then contacted to provide documentary evidence and/or an attestation to support your application.

Your application will also ask you to provide a specimen of their signature. This and your date of birth are securely stored to be compared when you cast your vote.

If you are unable to sign in a consistent or distinctive way (for example 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. Please check the timetable on the specific election page for exact dates. 

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. Postal votes received by us after this time cannot be included in the count.

We would encourage you to return your postal vote as early as you can via Royal Mail, in the free of charge (in the UK) return envelope provided.

Postal votes can be handed into the council offices or given to the Presiding Officer at a polling station on polling day in the electoral area, subject to the following:

  • When you hand in postal votes you need to complete a form, including your name and address, how many postal votes you are handing in and why you are handing in those postal votes. If you do not complete a form, the postal votes will be rejected and they will not count.
  • You are only able to hand in your own postal vote and the votes of up to five other people.
  • It is a criminal offence for candidates, party workers and campaigners to handle postal votes, unless they are for a close relative or someone they provide care for.

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.

Electoral services

Address: Civic Centre, Stockwell Close, Bromley, BR1 3UH

Telephone: 0300 303 8665