Voting by post

You must apply for a postal vote if you want to vote by post, for example if:

  • you’re away from home
  • you’re abroad and want to vote in England, Scotland or Wales

You do not need to give a reason unless you’re voting in Northern Ireland.

Apply for a postal vote

You can apply to vote by post for one of the following:

  • a single election on a specific date
  • a specific period if you want to vote in England, Scotland or Wales
  • permanently

Arrange to vote by proxy if there are under 2 weeks until election day and you have not made arrangements.

There’s a different form to apply to vote by post in Northern Ireland.

Change where your postal vote card is sent

Make a new application for a postal vote if you move house or you’ll be away from home when the postal vote is sent out.

There’s a different form for Northern Ireland.

Completing and returning your postal vote

When voting by post, you should:

  • mark your vote on your ballot paper in secret
  • fill in the postal voting statement
  • put the ballot and statement in the envelope provided
  • seal the envelope yourself

Post your ballot back as quickly as possible to make sure it’s counted.

If you’re too late to post your ballot paper

Take it to your local polling station by 10pm on election day, or Electoral Registration Office before they close.

In Northern Ireland, take it to your local Area Electoral Office before they close.

Replace a lost or damaged ballot paper

Your ballot paper needs to clearly display your details and voting choice. If it has been damaged you need to get another one.

You can either:

  • ask your local Electoral Registration Office to post a replacement
  • collect a replacement from your local Electoral Registration Office up to 5pm on election day (or the day before in Northern Ireland)

You cannot vote at a polling station if you registered to vote by post but your ballot paper was lost or damaged.