Apply to vote by post

You can now apply online to vote by post or download an application form.

Voting by post is an easy and convenient way of voting.  You can apply to set up a postal vote for just one election, referendum or poll, for example if you're going to be on holiday on polling day, or for a specific period of time or for up to a maximum of 3 years.  You can also have your postal vote sent to any address (including overseas). 

When you will receive your postal vote pack

Once your postal vote is set up, whenever an election, referendum or poll at which you are entitled to vote is called, you will be sent a postal poll card giving details of the forthcoming election, referendum or poll.  This will be followed by a postal vote pack which will contain:

  • instructions on how to complete your postal vote
  • your ballot paper
  • a postal voting statement, which you will need to complete so that we can verify your identity
  • an envelope to put the ballot paper in (to maintain the secrecy of your vote)
  • a postage-paid return envelope
Postal vote packs are issued to voters by our external printers.  If you're an existing registered postal voter, your postal vote pack will be sent approximately 10 days before polling day.  If you apply for a postal vote close to the deadline for applications for an election, you will be sent your postal vote pack as soon as possible after that date.

When you need to return your postal vote  

If you're registered to vote by post then you can't vote in person at a polling station and you must vote using the postal vote that will be sent to the address you've stated on your application form.  

You will need to ensure your completed postal vote is returned in time to arrive by 10pm on the day of the election, referendum or poll.  If it arrives later than 10pm, it will not be counted.  If it's too late to post your completed postal vote, you can take the completed pack, sealed in the return envelope, to your local polling station by 10pm on polling day.  

If you're in any doubt as to whether your circumstances will enable you to return your postal vote in time, for example if you are overseas, you may wish to consider voting by proxy instead. 

You've lost, damaged or made a mistake on your postal voting papers or you've not received them 

If you don't receive your postal vote pack, lose or damage some of the contents or make a mistake on your ballot paper or postal voting statement, please contact Electoral Services as soon as possible.  Please note, however, that replacements for postal vote packs that have not been received or which have been lost cannot be issued earlier than 4 working days before polling day.

Changing or cancelling your postal voting arrangements

If you want to change your postal voting arrangements, for example the address where you want your postal voting pack to be sent, you will need to complete and submit a new application form.

You can cancel your postal vote, but you must tell us in writing (by post or email).  

There is a deadline by which we must receive your instructions to make changes to your postal voting arrangements, including cancelling your postal vote, for each election, referendum or poll.  You should check the deadline on the relevant page for the election, referendum or poll under Forthcoming elections referenda and polls.

How to apply to vote by post

You can now apply online to vote by post or alternatively you can download a paper application form.  If you need a paper application form sent to you, please contact Electoral Services.  

There is a deadline by which we must receive your application to vote by post for each  election, referendum and poll.  You should check the deadline on the relevant page for the election, referendum or poll under Forthcoming elections referenda and polls.  

If you are not applying online to vote by post, your completed application form should be sent to Electoral Services (please note: you can email us a scan or photo of your completed form).