Voting by proxy
If you’re unable to vote in person you can ask someone to vote on your behalf. This is called a proxy vote.
You can only apply for a proxy vote under certain circumstances, including:
- being away on polling day
- being registered as an overseas voter
- having a medical issue or disability
- not being able to vote in person because of work or military service
Your proxy should be someone you trust to vote on your behalf. You’ll need to tell them which candidate (or referendum outcome) you want to vote for.
How to apply for a proxy vote
- apply online for a proxy vote
- apply by post for a proxy vote in England, Scotland or Wales
- apply by post for a proxy vote in Northern Ireland
You must apply by:
5pm, 6 working days before election day in England, Scotland or Wales
5pm, 14 working days before election day in Northern Ireland
Apply for an emergency proxy vote
If the proxy vote deadline has passed you may be able to apply for an emergency proxy vote if any of the following apply:
- you cannot vote in person because of a medical emergency or disability
- you cannot vote in person because of your employment
- the photo ID you were planning on using to vote has been lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed
- you’ve not yet received a new or replacement photo ID you’ve ordered
You do not need to show photo ID to vote in person in all UK elections and referendums. Check if you need to bring a photo ID to vote.
In England, Scotland and Wales, you have until 5pm on the day of the election to apply.
Fill in a paper form to:
- apply to vote by emergency proxy based on your employment
- apply to vote by emergency proxy based on a medical emergency or disability
- apply to vote by emergency proxy because you do not have an available photo ID
Send it to your local Electoral Registration Office.
If you’re applying for an emergency proxy vote because of a medical emergency, disability or your employment, your application form must be signed by an ‘appropriate person’ (for example your employer or a doctor).
In Northern Ireland, you can apply for an emergency proxy vote up to 6 days before the election.
How long your proxy vote is for
You can apply to vote by proxy:
- for a single election or referendum on a specific date
- for a specific period if you want to vote in England, Scotland or Wales
Who can act as a proxy
You can ask anyone to act as your proxy - as long as they:
- are registered to vote
- are allowed to vote in the type of election taking place
- can vote in the polling station stated on your poll card
They’ll need to take their own photo ID with them to vote in some elections.
If they cannot get to your polling station, they will need to contact your local Electoral Registration Office to arrange to cast their proxy vote by post.
Change or cancel your proxy vote
To change who acts as your proxy or to start voting in person, contact your local Electoral Registration Office.
If you want to vote by post instead, complete a postal vote application.