- Who can vote?
- Voting in person
- Where is my polling station?
- Postal vote
- Proxy vote
- Postal proxy
- Emergency proxies
Who can vote?
Anyone who is listed on the electoral register and is:
18 years of age or over
a British citizen or a citizen of another Commonwealth country or the Republic of Ireland
a citizen of a European Union country.
Voting in person
If your name is on the electoral register and you are aged 18 or over, you should receive a poll card approximately two weeks before an election which tells you where you can vote. All polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm.
The UK government has introduced a requirement for voters to show photo ID when voting in person at a polling station at some elections. For more information view the Voter ID page.
If you know that you will be unable to vote in person, you can apply for a postal or proxy vote in advance.
Where is my polling station?Find Your Polling Station
You don't need your poll card to vote
If you don't have your poll card, you can go to the polling station and give them your name and address.
However you will need to show photo ID when voting in person at a polling station. For more information view the Voter ID page.
Voting by post and by proxy
If you know that you won't be able to get to the polling station on polling day, you can vote by post or ask someone you trust to cast your vote for you, which is called a proxy vote.
Postal votes are usually sent out approximately two weeks before polling day for you to complete and return to us. You do not have to give any reason for asking for a postal vote but note that:
you must be registered to vote on the electoral register before you can apply for a postal vote
we need to receive your postal vote application at least 11 working days before the election date
you can apply for a postal vote online
you can apply for a postal vote for a specific time period or for a maximum of three years
a postal vote can be sent to any address you specify (including overseas) but you need to consider whether there would be time for you to receive and return your ballot paper by polling day
if you have been sent a postal vote, you cannot vote in person at a polling station. However, you can drop your completed postal vote off at your polling station.
Postal vote changes
From 31 October 2023 electors can apply for a postal vote via a new government online service. Electors are required to provide their National Insurance number when applying for a postal vote online or via a paper application form.Apply for a Postal Vote online
Postal voters must reapply to vote by post every 3 years if they wish to continue to vote by post. Political parties and campaigners will be banned from handling electors' postal votes. Electors will be limited to the number of postal vote packs they can hand in at a polling station.
You will be able to hand in your own postal vote and 5 other postal votes and you will be required to complete a form when handing them in.
For more information view the Postal Voting page.
If you cannot attend the polling station for a specific reason, you can apply for a proxy vote. This is nominating another person to go to the polling station and vote on your behalf. Please note:
you must be registered to vote on the electoral register
when applying you will need to give a reason as to why you can't attend the polling station, for example, illness, disability, employment, etc
proxy vote applications must be received six working days before an election
you can apply for a proxy vote online
you can choose to vote by proxy for one election, for a specific period, or permanently. If you are applying for a proxy vote for all elections, you will need to get someone to support your application (further details are available on the application form)
if you change your mind and are able to vote in person on the day, you can still do so providing that your proxy nominee has not already voted on your behalf.
Proxy vote changes
From 31 October 2023 electors can apply for a proxy vote via a new government online service. Electors are required to provide their National Insurance number when applying for a proxy vote online or via a paper application form.Apply for a Proxy Vote online
Electors will be limited to acting as proxy for two people living in the UK. Anyone voting on behalf of overseas electors could act as proxy for up to four people, but only two of these can be based in the UK.
For more information view the Voting by Proxy page.
If your proxy cannot get to your polling station for you, for example, if they are going on holiday, they can apply to vote by post for you. If your proxy does vote by post for you, you will then be unable to vote in person.
An emergency proxy can be applied for after the deadline for appointing a normal proxy has closed. This applies to those who have to be away for work and only discovered this after the proxy application deadline and for those who have fallen ill after the deadline. These proxies would need to be supported by an employer (there are provisions for the self-employed) or a relevant medical professional.