Ways of voting

3. 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 or you’re abroad.

You don’t 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 a single election on a specific date
  • for a specific period
  • permanently

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 back, you can hand it in by 10pm on polling day to your local polling station or Electoral Registration Office (returning officer in Scotland).

Change where your postal vote 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.

Replacement ballot papers

Contact your local Electoral Registration Office (returning officer in Scotland) if you spoil or lose your postal ballot paper. You can get a replacement up to 5pm on polling day.

Collect it in person. If you spoiled your ballot paper, bring:

  • the spoiled paper
  • the rest of the ballot pack that was sent to you