How to vote
You can vote in person at your local polling station. If you are registered to vote, you will receive a poll card before the election which states where your polling station is. You do not need to re-register for every election, unless your address has changed.
Polling hours are 7am to 10pm.
You can receive a ballot paper at your home or at an address where you will be living during the election.
The deadline to apply for a new postal/postal proxy vote, and to amend or cancel one is 5pm, 11 working days before an election/referendum. Applications can be for a temporary or permanent postal vote.
If voting by post, you must complete and return both the postal voting statement and ballot paper. Before close of poll, postal votes can be returned:
- by post
- by hand to the council offices
- to your polling station
Replacements for lost or spoilt postal votes can be collected from the election office before 5pm on polling day.
Please note that people who applied to vote by post but who do not cancel their application before the deadline cannot vote in person.
You must register as an overseas voter. This registration has to happen before you can vote by post or proxy. Overseas voters have to renew their registration every 12 months, and cannot vote in local elections.
If voting by post, you must ensure you have time to receive and return your ballot papers by polling day. If you are unsure that this can be done, you could appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf.
Proxy voting means that someone you trust can vote for you if you can’t vote in person.
When applying for a new proxy vote, your application must arrive at our office by 5pm, six working days before an election/referendum. The deadline to amend or cancel an existing proxy/postal proxy vote is by 5pm, 11 working days before an election or referendum. Applications can be for a temporary or permanent proxy vote. However unless you are an overseas/armed forces voter, applications for permanent proxies must be countersigned by one of the relevant people noted on the form.
You can apply for a proxy vote if:
- you are unable to go to the polling station for a particular election, as when you are away on holiday for example
- you have a physical condition that means you cannot go to the polling station on election day
- your employment means that you cannot go to the polling station on election day
- your attendance on an educational course means that you cannot go to the polling station on election day
- you are a British citizen living overseas
- you are a crown servant or a member of Her Majesty's Armed Forces
The person you wish to appoint as your proxy can only act as proxy if they are 18 or over. Also, they must be registered for that election/referendum.
A person cannot be a proxy for more than two people at any one election or referendum, unless they are your:
- civil partner
- child or grandchild
The person who appointed the proxy should tell them how they want the proxy to vote in their place, as by candidate, party or outcome.
You may still vote in person provided your proxy has not voted for you, or they have not applied to vote for you by post.
If a proxy cannot go to your polling station, they can apply to vote by post.
The deadline to apply for a postal proxy vote is by 5pm, 11 working days before an election or referendum.
For a postal proxy application form, please contact the Electoral Office.