Vote by post
How to apply to vote by post
From 31 October 2023, you must apply for your postal vote online through the new government portal.
You will also need to provide your National Insurance number as part of the application process.
If you have recently moved house or changed your name, you need to contact us to make changes on the electoral register (if you have not already) and then re-apply for a new postal vote.
You must ensure that the date of birth and signature that you provide on your application is correct, as you will need to supply this information each time you vote by post.
Elections Act changes
In addition to the online portal, the following changes have now taken effect as a result of the Elections Act 2022:
- Postal voters must reapply to vote by post every 3 years.
- Political Parties and Campaigners are banned from handling postal votes.
- The number of postal packs a person can hand in has been limited to 5 plus their own. They will also need completed a form when handing in postal packs.
- Wherever possible, postal packs must be sent back using a Royal Mail postbox. If a pack is handed in to a polling station, the person handing it in must adhere to the limit above and complete a postal vote handling form, or the postal pack(s) will be rejected.
If you want to vote by post in an upcoming election we recommend that you complete an application as early as possible. Your completed application must reach us by 5pm, 11 working days before polling day.
How postal voting works
We send postal voting forms to all registered postal voters approximately two weeks before polling day.
Your postal vote pack will contain an instruction leaflet, two envelopes (A and B), your ballot paper(s) and a Postal Voting Statement.
Complete the forms according to the instruction leaflet.
You will then need to put your completed ballot paper(s) in Envelope A (the brown envelope), and return your Postal Voting Statement and Envelope A to us in Envelope B (the white envelope) before 10pm on polling day. We cannot accept any postal votes we receive after this time.
We strongly recommend that you return your postal pack by posting it in a Royal Mail postbox.
If you are unable to return your postal vote by mail, you can hand in your completed and sealed postal vote pack directly to a polling station in your area. You will need to complete a postal vote handling form when doing this or your postal pack will be rejected.
If you have not received your postal vote five days before an election, you will need to contact the Elections team to request a replacement. Replacements for lost postal packs cannot be issued any earlier than this point.
What if I cannot provide a consistent signature?
If you are unable to provide a consistent signature due to an illness or disability, you may be eligible to apply for a waiver. Please contact the Elections team for further information.