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
  • 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 for a proxy vote using a paper form. You need to send it to your local Electoral Registration Office.

Usually, you need to apply for a proxy vote at least 6 working days before election day if you want to vote in England, Scotland or Wales.

There’s a different form to apply to vote by proxy in Northern Ireland. Apply at least 14 working days before election day.

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 you both:

  • cannot vote in person because of your employment or a disability
  • became aware of this reason after the proxy deadline

You can apply until 5pm on the day of the election. Fill in a paper form to:

An ‘appropriate person’ (for example your employer or a doctor) must sign the application form. Send it to your local Electoral Registration Office.

How long your proxy vote is for

You can apply to vote by proxy:

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

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

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.