Voting by post
You must apply in advance to vote by post at an election.
If you are registered to vote by post, you cannot vote in person at the polling station unless you have cancelled your registration in writing in advance. Polling station staff will not issue you with a ballot paper under any circumstances.
Steps to take
- Check you're eligible
- Receive your postal vote pack
- Cast your vote
- Post your vote
- Cancel your postal vote
You must be individually registered to vote before you can apply for a postal vote.
To let us know that you would like to vote by post:
- Download a postal vote application form(pdf, 24KB)
- Print, sign, and send this back to Electoral Services - you must sign your application form personally as we need a copy of your signature for voting security reasons
The form will ask you where your postal vote should be sent to. This could be your home or any other address, even overseas, although you must make sure there will be enough time to receive and return your ballot paper before the election.
If you cannot print this form, contact Electoral Services and a form will be posted to you.
You can apply for a postal vote at any time but your completed form must be received at the latest by 5pm, 11 working days before an election for it to be valid at that election.
You should receive your postal vote pack around a week before election day. Keep it safe and don't allow others to handle it.
If you have lost or spoilt your ballot paper, you can get a replacement up to 5pm on the day of an election. You must collect it in person.
If you spoiled your ballot paper, bring the:
- spoiled paper
- rest of the ballot pack that was sent to you
When you're ready to cast your vote, you should:
- mark your vote on your ballot paper in secret
- fill in and sign the postal voting statement
- put the ballot and statement in the envelope provided
- seal the envelope yourself
To ensure your vote is counted:
- write your signature carefully inside the box. This must match the signature on your postal vote application form.
- write your date of birth where indicated.
If you do not follow the above steps when completing your postal vote statement, your postal vote may be rejected and not counted.
Not sure what to do? The video below offers guidance on completing your postal ballot paper.
Post the envelope yourself, or ask someone you trust to post it for you. Don't leave it where someone could pick it up.
Contact the police if anyone tries to help you against your will, or insists that you hand them your envelope.
To cancel your postal vote you must contact Electoral Services by:
- Submitting the online form to change your method of voting, or
- Writing to Electoral Services at email@example.com
This must be received by 5pm, 11 working days before an election for it to be valid.
This is also the deadline to make changes to an existing postal vote including changing your postal vote to a proxy vote.
If you have any questions get in touch with the Electoral Services team.
Up to: Casting your vote
Updated: 17 February 2021