Ways to Vote

How to vote

To be able to vote you must first be registered. See register to vote.

Most people vote at their local polling station and receive a polling card to remind them to do so. You do not need the polling card to vote as long as you are on the electoral register as an eligible elector for that specific election.

The alternatives to voting this way are:

  • to vote by post
  • by using a proxy, i.e. someone to vote for you

Not everyone on the electoral register can vote in every election. Please check by telephoning 01353 665555

Applying for a postal vote

You need to fill in a postal application form. You can apply for a permanent or long-term postal vote or just for a specific election.

Please download the form from the bottom of this page, or you can obtain a copy of the form by telephoning 01353 665555.

Once you have completed the form, post it back to us and we can amend your details on our Electoral Register.

Voting from abroad

If you have a postal vote and live abroad there will be delays in getting the papers to you due to postal times which we cannot be held responsible for. This may mean that your vote may not be received in time to be counted.

If you think that this may be the case, it might be worth applying for a proxy to vote on your behalf.

Receiving and using your postal vote

You will receive your postal vote papers approximately 10 days before the date of the election. You need to complete this and send it back as soon as possible.

If you still have not received the papers four days before the election please contact Electoral Services who may be able to sort out a replacement set of papers.

Postal votes can be handed in at a polling station in your area on election day. Postal votes arriving after the close of polling are not valid and will not be counted.

Cancelling a postal vote and applying for a proxy vote

You can also cancel a postal vote and choose someone to vote for you (a proxy) up to eleven days before Election Day. However, you cannot have a proxy vote on demand. You need a valid reason to apply, for example if you are ill or away from home.

Applying for a proxy vote

You need to fill in a proxy application form. You can apply for a permanent or long-term proxy vote or just for a specific election. Please note if you would like it for the long-term you must fill in the correct form. Please download a form from the list below or telephone 01353 665555.

Post the completed form back to us and we can amend your details on our Electoral Register.

Eligibility to be a proxy

Your proxy must be:

  • over 18
  • entitled to vote at the election
  • and cannot vote for more than two people (other than close family)

You must consult with the person you are appointing as your proxy before nominating them to make sure they are willing and able to be your proxy.