You no longer have to have a reason to vote by post. If you decide that you do not want to go to the polling station at the time of an election, your ballot paper can be sent to you at home or to an address of your choice.
Voting by post
You can either complete a form or put your request in writing to us. You will need to tell us how long you want this postal vote for. Ballot papers can also be sent out of the country, however, they will only be sent out one or two weeks before an election - to ensure your vote is counted you may prefer to appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf.
Postal votes must be returned by the close of polling hours on the day of an election to be included in the count. Any received after that time will not be included.
Voting by proxy
You can apply for someone to vote for you. This person is called a 'proxy'. You will have to give a reason why you cannot vote in person, such as disability or employment and your application may need to be supported by your doctor or employer. If you are a student the rules have been changed to allow you to appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf.
Use this form to make an application to appoint a long term proxy to vote on your behalf.
Postal or proxy voting for one election only
You may need to vote by post or proxy for a particular election only. You may apply for a postal vote at any time without having to give a reason. You can apply for a proxy vote for the reasons below only after an election has been announced.
You are elderly.
You have been called away on business.
You are ill.
You have to visit a sick relative.
You have been sent away on a course.
You are a member of staff working at a polling station.
You are on holiday.
Use this form to make an application to appoint an individual to vote on your behalf for one particular election.
Date of last review: 25 February 2011
If you are an overseas elector you can now choose to have your ballot paper sent to you overseas. However, it will only be sent out one or two weeks before an election, therefore, in order to ensure your vote is counted you are strongly advised to continue using a proxy to vote on your behalf.