Ways of voting

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

If you live in Northern Ireland there’s a different form to apply to vote by post.

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, or Electoral Registration Office (returning officer in Scotland) before they close.

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

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.

There’s a different form for Northern Ireland.

Replacement ballot papers

Contact your local Electoral Registration Office (returning officer in Scotland) to request a replacement ballot paper.

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

England, Wales and Scotland

You can get a replacement for a lost or spoilt ballot paper up to 5pm on polling day.

Northern Ireland

You can get a replacement for a spoilt ballot paper up to 5pm on the day before the election. You cannot get a replacement for a lost ballot paper.