Voting in person
You can vote in person at a polling station on the day of the election or referendum.
We'll send you a polling card before election day, which will tell you where your polling station is, and the opening times.
You don't need your polling card to vote.
Voting by post
If you can't, or don't want to, vote in person at a polling station, you can apply to vote by post.
You can arrange a postal vote for:
- a single election - for example, if you'll be on holiday on the day of the election
- a set amount of time - for example, if you're a student or regularly work away from home
- permanently - we'll send a ballot paper to you by post whenever there's an election until you tell us otherwise
Register to vote by post
If you want to vote by post, you can fill in the postal vote application form and send it to us. If you can't print the form out yourself, contact Electoral Services and we'll send you one.
Once we've received your completed application, we'll write to you to confirm your voting arrangements. If you don't get written confirmation after 1 month, contact Electoral Services to check that we received your application.
Key points about postal voting
There are some important things to remember about postal voting:
- once we've sent you your postal vote, you can't choose to vote in person at a polling station
- we can send postal votes to any address, even abroad, but we have no control over delays to your vote being delivered
- if we don't receive your completed postal vote by election day, your vote won't be counted
- you're responsible for paying return postage if you have your postal vote sent abroad
- we send out postal votes about a week before election day, so make sure you'll be at the address where your postal vote will be sent
- if you're a permanent postal voter, make sure you let us know if you move house, or your postal vote will be sent to your old address
- if you're a permanent postal voter, you'll need to refresh your signature every 5 years
You can find out more in the postal voting FAQs.
Voting by proxy
Voting by proxy is when you ask another person to vote on your behalf, either at your polling station or by post (postal proxy).
You can only apply for a proxy vote under certain circumstances, including:
- being away on polling day
- having a medical issue or disability
- not being able to vote in person because of work or military service
You can apply to vote by proxy:
- for a single election on a specific date
- for a specific period
Who can be a proxy
You can ask anyone to act as your proxy - as long as they:
- are registered to vote
- are allowed to vote in the type of election taking place
- can vote in the polling station stated on your poll card
If they cannot get to your polling station, they'll need to contact Electoral Services to arrange to cast their proxy vote by post.
Register to vote by proxy
To register to vote by proxy, fill in the proxy voting application form, and send it to us. If you can't print the form out yourself, contact Electoral Services and we'll send you one.
There's a different application form if you only want to vote by proxy for a particular election. Fill in the proxy voting for a particular election application form, and send it to us. If you can't print the form out yourself, contact Electoral Services and we'll send you one.
You'll need to give a reason for wanting to vote by proxy. You may also need a qualified person to confirm that your reason for applying is valid. For example, your doctor (if you're applying for medical reasons) or your employer (if you're applying because of work). Please read the application form carefully to find out whether you need someone to support your application, and who can do it.
Emergency proxy voting
The deadline for applying to vote by proxy is normally 6 working days before an election. However, you can apply for an emergency proxy vote if you both:
- cannot vote in person because of your job or a disability
- became aware of this reason after the proxy voting deadline
You can find out more about applying for an emergency proxy vote on GOV.UK.